In the meanwhile: Time welfare and prolonged temporariness of Moldovan domestic workers in Italy 

Zapraszamy na XXI Seminarium Migracyjne (w j. angielskim), na którym gościć będziemy Olgę Cojocaru (OBM UW)!

Przydatne informacje
IEiAK UW, Żurawia 4, sala 104
Data rozpoczęcia: 


Based on ethnographic fieldwork in several Italian cities with a large concentration of Eastern European migrants, I put forward a temporal approach on migration experiences in terms of time qualities and life planning. Drawing on narratives of Moldovan migrant live-in care workers in Italy, I first examine constructions of wellbeing and temporal resistance techniques under conditions of precarity. I conceptualize migrant domestic work as a precarious type of employment marked by particular time qualities, derived from the conflation of workspace with living space, ever-availability, repetitive tasks, subordinate status, etc. In the context of time commodification, migrants seem positioned at the bottom of temporal hierarchies: doing the jobs that locals do not want, often working non-standard hours, saving hard, cutting back on leisure and self-gratification.

Secondly, I look at how temporal horizons impact on migration projects and affect long-term decision-making in crucial domains of life. Even if planned to be temporary, most migration projects of Moldovans in Italy have been extended indefinitely over the years. I illustrate how intended temporariness is reflected in everydayness, family life, qualities of time and how it affects decision-making in practical domains such as occupational career, access to social benefits, pension and health system. I argue that maintaining a temporary mindset correlates with ​ ​halting migrant conduct in terms of time strategies. By and large, I address the time management of those who are not always in the position to "own" time, have a clear vision of what lies ahead and make informed choices.


Olga Cojocaru is about to complete her Ph.D. thesis in Migration Studies at the University of Warsaw, dealing with the temporalities of migration with a case study on Moldovan migrants in Italy. Over the past years, she has been affiliated with the Centre of Migration Research in Warsaw, as a doctoral fellow in the TRANSMIC project funded through the European Commission’s Marie Curie actions. She has been a Pontica Magna Fellow at the New Europe College in Bucharest (2018-2019), a visiting doctoral student at COMPAS Oxford (2019) and at EUI in Florence (2017). She holds an MA degree in Social Anthropology from ​the ​Central European University in Budapest (2013) and an MA in Anthropology from the National School of Political Science and Public Administration in Bucharest (2011).

Recommended readings:

Cwerner Saulo B. (2001) PDF iconThe Times of Migration, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 27(1): 7-36, DOI: 10.1080/13691830125283

Griffiths Melanie (2013) PDF iconMigration, Time and Temporalities: Review and ProspectCOMPAS Research Resources Paper, March 2013, COMPAS: Centre on Migration, Policy and Society, University of Oxford.

Harper Robin A. and Hani Zubida (2017) PDF iconLiving on borrowed time: borders, ticking clocks and timelessness among temporary labour migrants in Israel in: H. Donnan, M. Hurd and C. Leutloff-Grandits (eds) Migrating Borders and Moving Times. Temporality and the Crossing of Borders in Europe, Manchester: Manchester University Press, pp. 102-120.