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The Effects of Parent Migration on the Children Left at Home: The Use of Ad-Hoc Research for Raising Moral Panic in Romania and the Republic of Moldova



The study aims to achieve a critical reflection on research carried out in Romania and the Republic of Moldova focusing on the effects on childhood in migrating families, the main points being the epistemological aspects and the manner in which the rhetoric of migration is used in order to raise moral panic. Even though the analyzed research does not provide enough data for a rigorous investigation of the phenomenon, these studies have managed to put on to the public agenda, the issue of migration and its effect on childhood, from a moral angle. The method the researchers used was the secondary analysis of the data present in the studied research, through which we managed to analyze the errors found in such studies. A large number of ad hoc studies about migration show certain errors related to the effects it has on children left at home, which amplify moral panic regarding this phenomenon.
© Kamla-Raj 2015 Anthropologist, 22(2): 568-575 (2015)
The Effects of Parent Migration on the Children Left at Home:
The Use of Ad-Hoc Research for Raising Moral Panic in
Romania and the Republic of Moldova
Stefan Cojocaru1, M. Rezaul Islam2 and Daniel Timofte3
1Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Department of Sociology and Social Work, Iasi, Romania
2Institute of Social Welfare and Research, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1205, Bangladesh,
Department of Social Administration and Justice and Centre for Civilization and Dialogue,
University of Malaya, Malaysia
3Grigore T. Popa University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Iasi, Romania
E-mail: 1<>, 2<>,
KEYWORDS Critical Reflection. Deficiency Paradigm. Errors in Research. Moral Panic. Secondary Analysis.
Transnational Migration
ABSTRACT The study aims to achieve a critical reflection on research carried out in Romania and the Republic
of Moldova focusing on the effects on childhood in migrating families, the main points being the epistemological
aspects and the manner in which the rhetoric of migration is used in order to raise moral panic. Even though the
analyzed research does not provide enough data for a rigorous investigation of the phenomenon, these studies have
managed to put on to the public agenda, the issue of migration and its effect on childhood, from a moral angle. The
method the researchers used was the secondary analysis of the data present in the studied research, through which
we managed to analyze the errors found in such studies. A large number of ad hoc studies about migration show
certain errors related to the effects it has on children left at home, which amplify moral panic regarding this
Address for correspondence:
Dr. Stefan Cojocaru
Alexandru Ioan Cuza University,
Department of Sociology and Social Work,
Iasi, Romania
Telephone: +40 744 788 779
Fax: +40 332 402 516
The issue of migration came to the forefront
of current events after the fall of communism in
Central and Eastern Europe, as a migration move-
ment started at the time from the East to the
West (Sandu 2005: 555). In the first stage of mi-
gration, most migrants came from the rural envi-
ronment, because the economic changes in the
former communist countries were not accompa-
nied by a change in the economic mechanisms
that would support agriculture and the develop-
ment of infrastructure in the rural environment
(Sandu 2005). Beyond the economic and demo-
graphic effects of migration, some studies un-
derscore its effects on family relationships such
as couple relationships, and the relationship
between parents and children (Sandu et al. 2006).
Whereas in the 1990s the main studies concern-
ing the migration from Eastern Europe to west-
ern countries approached the issue mainly from
the perspective of origin countries, starting with
the early 2000s the studies shifted focus to the
destination countries (Fernandez-Borrero et al.
2013). The issue of migration in Romania and the
Republic of Moldova started being the spotlight
of studies after 2000. A number of studies fo-
cused on the rationalization of grounds for emi-
gration: “The motivations that drives the Roma-
nian emigrant are to a great extent financial in
nature” (Miftode 2006: 11; CBS-AXA 2009), and
on the estimation of the number of migrants or of
children affected by migration; in 2008, Romania
had an estimated 350,000 children affected by
the migration of parents abroad for work, of which
126,000 had both parents abroad (Toth et al. 2008).
The issue of the effects parent migration has is
approached through association with the follow-
ing aspects (Cojocaru 2013): 1) the individual-
ization of social problems – the identification of
individual causes while ignoring public policies
and macrosocial and economic factors; 2) the
transfer of responsibility from macrosocial struc-
tures to families and individuals; 3) the issue of
migration is dealt with in terms that challenge
family moral values (the responsibility parents
have for rearing their children, responsibilities in
the couple relationship, the “normal” operation
of a family).
There are studies made by NGOs that can be
considered ad hoc research, insofar as they bring
to the attention of the public social problems
and make efforts to include on the public agen-
da potential solutions for these social problems,
researched without sufficient scientific rigor and
lacking a rigorous and credible basis of analysis.
The invoked studies have the merit of rational-
izing the need for intervention and of propos-
ing and experimenting with new services that
provide interventions, chiefly individualized
ones, on two axes: affective and emotional on
the one hand, and academic failure (dropout) on
the other.
Moral Panic and the Rhetoric of Migration
Moral panic brings to the public attention,
through the voice of experts, the debate on so-
cial problems from a moral point of view, thus
amplifying the negative effects of the phenome-
non, based on analyses that lack rigor or even
based on no analyses at all (see Hier 2002, 2008;
Hier et al. 2011); moral panic contributes to the
development of forecasts with an emotional
charge (Pearce and Charman 2011), that treat as a
pending catastrophe the various possible effects
of the problem (Ungar 2001; David et al. 2011), all
this in the absence of credible empirical data:
“The media have presented several cases of sui-
cide among children, many of these belonging
to the category of children left at home alone,
following their parents’ departure abroad for
work. Currently there are no statistics concern-
ing the number of suicides among children” (Save
the Children Romania 2008: 3). One of the goals
of moral panic is to stimulate reactions starting
from moral grounds (Critcher 2009) and the re-
sults of research carried out in Romania and in
the Republic of Moldova are presented through
a morality filter (Asociatia Alternative Sociale
2006, 2009b; CIDDC 2007; MMFPS 2009; Save
the Children Romania 2008, 2009). The ad hoc
research carried out by NGOs and disseminated
by the media contributes to the rise of moral panic
in the context of a paradox identified by Alth-
eide: on the one hand, the media promote moral
panic, amplifying public fears, on the other hand,
they argue in favor of appropriate public poli-
cies for increased social control (Altheide 2009:
80; Cojocaru 2011; Islam and Cojocaru 2015; Ye-
ung and Fan 2013). Moral panic enhances the
tendency to label negatively both the parents
(irresponsible, lacking morality, negligent etc.,
that is their behavior is measured against tradi-
tional norms) and the children (home alone, semi-
abandoned, euro-abandoned, migrant children
etc., that is they are given definitions focused
on the deficiency paradigm) (Rohloff and Wright
2010; Cojocaru and Cojocaru 2011). The rhetoric
promoted by the media, using the voices of prac-
titioners and specialists, is founded on a dis-
course about the moral crisis (Critcher 2011),
constructed through an induction process, start-
ing from individual cases presented by the me-
dia; this strategy of increasing moral panic has
also been identified by Lundström in the British
media (David et al. 2011; Hier et al. 2011). In order
to uphold the need for state intervention, the
media present – using a moral angle – research
that stresses predominantly the negative, some-
times catastrophic effects the parents’ migration
for work has on the children left behind at home
(Asociatia Alternative Sociale 2006, 2009b; CID-
DC 2007; MMFPS 2009; Save the Children Ro-
mania 2008, 2009). Together with other social
problems, the topic of parent migration and its
effects on the family environment has become a
focus of moral panic, so that it may arrive on the
public agenda of the Romanian and Modovan
central and local authorities. Although the re-
port published by Save the Children Romania
highlights chiefly the negative effects of migra-
tion on children, thus fitting into a rhetoric of the
“deficiency paradigm”, the data supplied by the
subjects taking part in the research show that
“within the society and in the media the accent
is placed primarily on the suffering and the dis-
advantageous situation these children have to
cope with and less on the way these children’s
rights are respected or on the solutions to their
problems, on the actual services they can use. In
this context, the children feel they are victims of
social exclusion, fact that enhances the negative
effects of the parents’ departure” (Save the Chil-
dren Romania 2009: 8).
The method used focuses on the secondary
analysis of the data presented in various studies
concerning the effects of migration on children,
in Romania and the Republic of Moldova. The
study is a critical reflection on the Romanian re-
search of the phenomenon of childhood in migra-
tion families, focusing on epistemological aspects.
The role of secondary analysis is to answer ques-
tions, to verify hypotheses or to generate new
theories (Rubin 2008) using the existing data; in
the case of secondary analysis, the data collect-
ed during previous evaluations cannot be used
with the same original purpose, as this is a re-
analysis and a re-interpretation of said data start-
ing from other theoretical and epistemological
assumptions (Camfield and Palmer-Jones 2013).
Secondary analysis does not mean the verifica-
tion of the data obtained or of the analysis car-
ried out by the evaluator in order to write the
evaluation report (Irwin et al. 2012); instead it
involves using the data contained by the evalu-
ation for further, complementary analysis, using
epistemological and theoretical perspectives that
are different from those originally used in the
process of program evaluation. Secondary anal-
ysis provides new perspectives for interpreting
and understanding the same data that was orig-
inally collected and interpreted (Powell 1978;
Zientek and Thompson 2009). The secondary
analysis of data does not involve the resump-
tion of the data collection process, the data is
just reanalyzed in order to identify systematic
errors (biases) and to reduce them as much as
possible (Boruch and Wortman 1978: 90); there-
fore, secondary analysis focuses on the inter-
pretation instead of on the collection of new data
(Rubin 2008); secondary analysis is not a form
of verifying the already performed evaluation.
Ridskopf uses secondary analysis of data ob-
tained through quasi-experimental designs in
order to: (1) identify problems related to the caus-
al inference operated during the evaluation; (2)
estimate any possible biases; (3) strengthen the
validity of causal inferences through the use of
multiple approaches (Ridskopf 1978: 76). One
important feature of secondary analysis stems
from the fact that it can provide new interpreta-
tions of the data and helps us analyze alterna-
tive plausible models, starting from different the-
oretical assumptions. Keesling believes that for-
mulating counter-arguments for the conclusions
of an evaluation and resuming the data analysis
process starting from rival theoretical perspec-
tives is a form of developing an understanding
and an explanation of the effects of the program’s
interventions (Keesling 1978). The researchers
have used the secondary analysis of data in or-
der to examine the theoretical and methodologi-
cal set of tools used by the research concerning
migration, as well as to develop a reflection of an
epistemological nature (validity, errors that may
contaminate results etc.).
The Deficiency Paradigm in the Rhetoric Used
by the Specialists from Romania and the
Republic of Moldova
The analysis of the research carried out in
Romania and the Republic of Moldova by vari-
ous organizations highlight rhetoric based on
deficiencies, problems, dysfunctions etc. Such
statements, made by specialists, are highlighted
in these studies (Asociatia Alternative Sociale
2006, 2009b; CIDDC 2007; MMFPS 2009; Save
the Children Romania 2008, 2009) despite the fact
that the collected data do not confirm them; they
are based solely on the statements made during
focus-group interviews or during individual in-
terviews with specialists.
Multiple negative effects on children have
also been found by the specialists from Iasi (Ro-
mania): (1) the children do not perceive the au-
thority of the person they live with, who is not
their parent. This issue could be resolved by ex-
plaining before the parents’ departure the au-
thority position of the person the child is going
to be living with; (2) the children come to see
their mothers as persons who merely gave birth
to them but are devoid of any other qualities; (3)
the children do not see the person they are liv-
ing with as a good dialogue partner; (4) a lack of
family models required for the normal develop-
ment of any child; (5) although the parents emi-
grate in order to earn money for improving the
family’s material situation, there are circumstanc-
es in which the children do not have the comfort
the parents would wish for them because the
individuals that care for them do not give them
the material support they should receive; (6) for
entertainment or while seeking the attention of
adults, children sometimes break the law, for in-
stance engage in shoplifting; (7) aggressiveness,
vulgar language and dysfunctional relations with
the family are ways in which children express
their frustration; (8) the children are the victims
of their own parents, who take them abroad and,
if the children do not adapt, they are brought
back into the country, thus generating changes
in living patterns that are not helpful for the men-
tal development of children; (9) decreased self-
esteem, confidence and trust in one’s value as a
person; (10) the overburdening of girls, as they
take on the mother’s role(s) when the latter goes
abroad to work; (11) estrangement between chil-
dren and parents; (12) children are physically
abused by those who are supposed to look after
them; (13) frequent cases of disturbed behavior,
depression problems, suicide attempts; (14) re-
bellious behavior such as running away from
home, making friends with people of dubious
character, entering groups with questionable
behavior in order to convince one’s parents to
return home; (15) the development of aberrant
sexual behavior in the case of girls; (16) the de-
velopment of incestuous relationships, as the
father feels frustrated at no longer having sexual
relations with the mother and therefore demand-
ing this “right” from his own daughter; (17) trans-
formations in the children’s behavior after the
parents’ departure, (18) the adoption as role-
models of individuals who, despite not having
an education, have done well in life, and there-
fore a decrease in the children’s school perfor-
mance; (19) changes in nutrition and weight loss.
These aspects of the negative effects on chil-
dren have been the most delicate topic ap-
proached in the discussion with specialists from
both countries. The specialists from Chisinau
(Republic of Moldova) mentioned the following
negative aspects that occur after one parent or
both go abroad to work: (1) the children become
mere consumers, because they have become
used to receiving without giving anything in re-
turn; (2) children spend time in bars and clubs
without adult supervision; (3) children drink al-
cohol and smoke cigarettes; (4) the overburden-
ing of older girls, as they take on the mother’s
role and must cope with both family and school;
(5) the children have manifestations of anxiety
and depression after the parents leave and they
become uncommunicative and feel abandoned;
(6) rapid mood changes: now they are cheerful,
now they are about to cry or to become aggres-
sive apparently without reason; (7) the children
become arrogant due to the fact that they have
enough money to afford to buy anything they
please, to invite their classmates out or to go to
places that other children cannot afford; (8) the
children steal from home, seeking attention or
trying to determine their parents to return home;
(9) the children cannot manage money properly
and end up paying exorbitant amounts for use-
less items; (10) children whose parents are abroad
become the victims of robbers, this being one of
the main reasons most children hide the fact that
their parents are abroad for work; (11) the lack of
parental affection leads to states of anxiety and
dread; (12) the children desire to leave the coun-
try as soon as possible in order to go to work
abroad; (13) due to the freedom they have, the
children no longer submit to parental authority
and engage in behaviors that are unsuitable for
their age; (14) the replacement of the role of sis-
ter with that of mother causes the girls who un-
dergo it to grow up before their time, which spe-
cialists agree it is not desirable; (15) exhaustion
caused partly by the overburdening with family
roles and partly by staying up late in bars and
clubs; (16) health problems caused by unhealthy
eating; (17) the occurrence of a large number of
cases of STIs and of abortions; (18) some of the
girls staying home with their fathers risk becom-
ing the victims of sexual abuse; (19) school per-
formance is lower in some children whose parents
are abroad, because they don’t feel they must
study when asked to do so by individuals who
are not their parents.
Errors Found in Ad Hoc Research Focusing on
Migration and Its Effects on Children
In the ad hoc research carried out by various
non governmental organizations in Romania and
the Republic of Moldova, the researchers find a
number of errors that result in interpretations that
cast doubts on the credibility of said research:
Completeness errors that is the tendency to
identify only emotional effects, and omitting the
importance of analyzing the economic, personal
development, social adjustment or resilience ef-
fects. In the ad hoc studies made by NGOs, there
is a tendency towards underlining predominant-
ly the negative effects. “The absence of a rela-
tionship with the parents proved to have as ef-
fects isolation, decrease of self-esteem, absen-
teeism and even dropout, the lack of involve-
ment and participation in extracurricular activi-
ties turning sometimes into socially undesirable
behaviors and attitudes (such as crime, violence
etc.)” (Save the Children Romania 2009: 4). On
the other hand, the studies that make compara-
tive analyses between children whose parents
are working abroad and children who have both
parents at home do not identify relevant differ-
ences between the two categories of children:
“in terms of verbal abuse, humiliations, threats,
physical aggression or neglect, the differences
between those whose parents are abroad and
those with non-migrant parents are not signifi-
cant...; the difference between the children of
migrants and the children of non-migrants are
relatively small in terms of deviant behavior; nev-
ertheless, the parents’ migration is a risk factor...
The children whose parents are working abroad
have a similar profile to that of children living in
single-parent families following a separation or
the demise of one of the parents” (Toth et al.
2007: 10). “The main consequences on the child
are visible in terms of emotional and psycholog-
ical suffering (as stated by both the parents and
the children). This leads us to the hypothesis
that, probably, the situation of children with mi-
grant parents is similar to that of children with
separated (divorced) parents or with extremely
busy parents” (Toth et al. 2008: V). The absence
of one or both parents is associated in some stud-
ies with a number of problems or with the lack of
provision for certain of the child’s needs: nutri-
tional, sartorial, hygienic, medical, housing, ed-
ucational neglect (Asociatia Alternative Sociale
2006). The children who stay behind “may also
become the victims of various forms of abuse
and exploitation” (Azoitei et al. 2007: 9) or of
overloading with chores; they are vulnerable to
physical, mental and sexual abuse, to exploita-
tion through labor, child trafficking and prostitu-
tion; they suffer from an insufficient develop-
ment of independent life skills, so that they may
come with difficulties in their future adult lives,
from a defective acquisition of ethical and moral
norms, from an early onset of sexual activity
(Azoitei et al. 2007: 10). The deficiency paradigm
promoted by ad hoc studies (Asociatia Alterna-
tive Sociale 2006) is used in the migration rheto-
ric as a rationale for the work methodologies pro-
posed in order to mitigate the negative effects
parent migration has on children: “the conclu-
sions of the study are clear: the parents’ depar-
ture for long periods of time is a cause of deviant
behavior, of decreased levels of performance (ac-
ademic and otherwise), of a degradation of the
child’s physical and mental state caused by a
lack of control, of education, of positive role
models, of communication problems, of adjust-
ment difficulties, of deficient care, of overload
with chores etc.” (Azoitei et al. 2007: 16).
The attribution process concerns the fact
that a number of behavior in children (delinquen-
cy, troubled sleep, dropout, behavior disorders,
suicide etc.) are attributed to the migration of
parents, but the methodology used does not
back up such correlations (the need for quasi-
experimental and experimental methods); the re-
search strategies used in order to attribute neg-
ative effects rely on studying only the children
whose parents are working abroad (operating
comparisons between the urban and the rural
environment, or between genders), without con-
sidering for analysis the category of children liv-
ing together with their parents: “oftentimes, the
child left behind has trouble sleeping, becomes
aggressive or very sad, is unwilling to communi-
cate, and all he wants is for his family to be re-
united” (CIDDC 2007: 12; Asociatia Alternative
Sociale 2006: 11; Adumitroaie and Dafinoiu 2013).
When research takes into consideration both
categories of children, the conclusions are op-
posed to those yielded by the first ad hoc re-
searches. “The phenomenon of parent migration
abroad, simultaneous to the children staying
behind in the country, is reflected in an increas-
ingly visible manner in the children’s participa-
tion in education. The research carried out by
Save the Children as well as by other NGOs point
to the fact that this phenomenon can lead to ab-
senteeism and even to dropout, because the chil-
dren are not supervised appropriately or because
they lack the motivation to study” (Save the
Children Romania 2008: 18).
Generalization of the effects of migration on
children in a homogenous manner, as if all the
children were affected in the same way, irrespec-
tive of age, child gender, the gender of the mi-
grating parent, of the configuration of care in the
absence of the parent, of the support networks
of the family that stay behind, of the type and
nature of the relationships between the migrat-
ing parent and the family in the country, as even
children from the same family are affected differ-
ently (Asociatia Alternative Sociale 2009b; Luca
et al. 2009; Save the Children Romania 2009; Azoi-
tei et al. 2007). The construct errors that cast
doubt on validity: a) the theoretical tools used
are obsolete (terms such as attachment, loss,
socialization are used with the accepted mean-
ings of the ‘60s and ‘70s) in the circumstances
where the social reality has changed (Save the
Children Romania 2009); b) the instruments are
not valid (they do not measure what they are
supposed to measure), are constructed based
on simplistic operationalization models (there is
no interrogation of adjustment/coping strategies,
of resilience, of resource mobilization etc.); c)
the instruments contain directive items (they seek
out problems, the difficult situations that the sub-
jects may have faced, and are strongly contami-
nated by the thinking of those who carried out
the research (migration as a negative phenome-
non); d) inconsistency in analysis, which leads
either to conclusions that have no connection to
the collected empirical data, or that are opposed
to the empirical data supplied by the subjects.
Such conclusions of studies without empirical
support highlight long-term effects caused on
children by their parents’ migration, such as: the
lack of the representation of a united family, lack
of confidence in one’s own forces, parents that
will not know what it means to be a parent, inap-
propriate behaviors in relation to what a family
should be, the future adults will have a behavior
that is the result of frustrations accumulated in
the period when the parents were abroad for work
(they will lie or boast etc.); they will assign exag-
gerated value to material aspects, they will be-
come adults with behavior problems, requiring
counselling, they will not be able to have a satis-
factory income and thus they will become de-
pendent on social services (Asociatia Alterna-
tive Sociale, 2009a: 66-67). Although the studies
carried out by NGOs point out the negative ef-
fects on the children’s participation in school
activities (this is one of the effects mentioned
most often), the data collected by the same orga-
nizations, during the same studies, present state-
ments from children that go against the conclu-
sions of this research: “I felt I needed someone
to motivate me, to push me, in a way, to do cer-
tain things; although I have no problems in
school, I get good grades, I do feel the need to
have the parents motivate me; for instance, there
are mornings when I don’t feel like going to
school... I haven’t had any problems with miss-
ing classes... I just felt the need to have some-
one tell me I needed to get up... sometimes you
feel the need for advice from a grown-up” (girl,
17, Iasi, with both parents abroad at work)... “I
miss my parents most when the end-of-year
awards are handed out, that’s where all the chil-
dren come with their mum and dad... and I don’t
see mine there, and this makes me lose my appe-
tite for studying... (girl, 10, Suceava, both par-
ents abroad at work)” (Save the Children Roma-
nia 2008: 19); e) these studies use ad hoc meth-
odologies, without a critical apparatus, and tend
to over-generalize the conclusions); f) interpre-
tations of test results starting from unfounded
assumptions made by specialists and the pro-
jection of possible scenarios without using con-
sistent data.
This type of rhetoric focused solely on the
deficiency paradigm can produce more unwant-
ed effects than migration does, due to the pro-
motion of a catastrophic discourse concerning
the effects migration has on children. The re-
searchers’ analysis shows that a number of ad-
hoc research studies carried out by various
NGOs that run intervention programs in the do-
main of migration underscore mainly the nega-
tive aspects of the parents’ migration abroad for
work. More often than not, such researches main-
tain and develop moral panic, and the very rhet-
oric concerning the parents takes a moral angle.
Even when some of the data collected by said
ad-hoc research do not confirm the catastrophic
discourses, public opinion is influenced howev-
er, and the lack of data is no impediment for de-
signing public policies under the pressure of the
media or of non-governmental organizations. The
analysis of the errors found in research is a crit-
ical reflection on epistemological and method-
ological aspects, with the obvious purpose of
increasing the awareness of researchers as to
becoming more engaged in the construction of
rigorous, pertinent and valid research.
Using ad-hoc researches for the identifica-
tion of some social problems, accompanied by
errors, increase the moral panic regarding those
problems. Therefore, it is benefic the approach
of certain events, respecting scientific research
criteria. Maybe it is useful the verification of the
conclusions, using the participatory evaluation,
so that the conclusions to be validated not only
by the experts, but also by the evaluation partic-
ipants. Strengthening the research in the field of
the effects of migration can lead to avoid the
catastrophic discourse and can lead to a benefi-
cial guidance to find specific solutions for the
families involved. There is necessary the State
investments in capable researches available to
provide relevant information for the public poli-
cy, and the research team to be trained not only
but the practitioners, but also by the research-
ers. This implies the State responsibility to man-
age the problem of the migration, and to reduce
the social cost paid by the families and children,
and also to strengthen a system of reporting and
detailed monitoring of the phenomenon, the op-
eration of valid data concerning the migration
and its effects.
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... Popa's findings are partially supported by Cojocaru, et al.(2015) in the study The Effects of Parent ...
... Often, such NGOs maintain and build the "moral panic", and the same rhetoric about the parents carries a moral approach. Furthermore, even when part of the data collected by the researchers does not confirm the catastrophic discourse, public opinion is influenced, and the lack of data is not an impediment to setting up public policies under the pressure of the media or non-governmental organizations (Cojocaru, et al., 2015). ...
... Globally, the MDWS often work long hours, have poor remuneration, and little access to social protection. Their isolation and vulnerability as workers is made more complex by their invisibility in private homes and their dependence on the good will of their employers (D'Souza, 2010, Warnecke & Ruyter, 2012Cojocaru, Islam, & Timofte, 2015). Compared to formal workers, they are less likely to work at a single address, making them harder to track; the lack of official statistics accounting for informal workers contributes to their invisibility (Tomei, 2011). ...
... Joffres et al. (2008);Islam & Hossain (2014);Islam and Mungai (2015);Cojocaru, Islam & Timofte (2015); ...
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The objective of this study was to present comparative findings of the decent work practice (the ILO Convention 189) among the migrant domestic workers (MDWs) in two countries e.g., Italy and Singapore. The study covered three main aspects of these decent work practices, such as working hours and annual leave, maternity protection, and minimum wage. The study was based on a content analysis method. The search for relevant literature was completed in two stages. First, we examined peer-reviewed articles found in electronic databases using keyword searches; secondly, we used the ‘snowball’ method for searching the journal articles and published reports. The results showed that both countries were following the provisions of the decent work practices, but the situation in Italy was found much better than in Singapore. Apparently, the study found a large difference between the written provisions and the real practice in both countries. As a result, in many cases the MDWs in both countries were facing terrific challenges to get their expedient working conditions, proper working hours, annual leave, maternity protection and fair wage. The finding would be important guideline to the policy makers, human rights practitioners and academics.
... De esta manera, consideramos como una apuesta la visibilización y la producción de estudios feministas de la infancia (Rosen y Twamley, 2018) y co-constructivas de la memoria colectiva (Habashi, 2013). En nuestra opinión, incluir análisis que consideren los contextos sociohistóricos y variables como la edad, el género y la clase podrían abrir otras perspectivas de investigación que desafíen el carácter homogeneizante de las teorías desde las cuales se produce conocimiento de la infancia migrante (Cojocaru, Islam y Timofte, 2015). En este sentido, se posibilita el reconocimiento de la agencia de los/las niños/as atendiendo a sus contextos situados, culturales y territoriales específicos. ...
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Infancia, memoria colectiva y migración, suelen ser temáticas que la literatura científica aborda por separado. En el presente artículo, exponemos los resultados de una revisión sistemática que tuvo como propósito identificar la producción científica en torno a la memoria social, la infancia y la migración entre los años 2010-2020 en formato de artículos científicos. Siguiendo las directrices PRISMA, incluimos 38 artículos científicos mediante un análisis temático. Los resultados dan cuenta de la construcción de memoria de los/as niños/as desde aspectos identitarios; a través de la transmisión intergeneracional y la posmemoria, y por medio de experiencias de migraciones transnacionales y forzadas. Por último, algunas investigaciones se preocupan de estudiar las memorias como prácticas de resistencia, y a los/as niños/as como agentes de la memoria colectiva. Finalmente, por medio de las discusiones y las conclusiones, reflexionamos sobre las maneras en que se conciben a los/as niños/as en estos campos de estudio y la importancia de valorar su participación en investigaciones que tratan sobre las prácticas de memoria y los procesos migratorios, junto a algunas limitaciones y contribuciones de la revisión.
... The authors' conclusion was that, with few exceptions, labour migration does not put the welfare of children at risk in a systematic way [49]. Cojocaru, Islam, and Timofte analysed the effects of parental migration on children left at home, with a focus on the use of ad-hoc research to raise moral panic in Romania and the Republic of Moldova, and came to the conclusion that a number of ad hoc research studies carried out by various NGOs that run intervention programs in the area of migration had focused mainly on the negative aspects of parents' migration abroad to work, thereby maintaining and raising moral panic; thus, the rhetoric concerning these parents takes on a moral angle [50]. Yanovich focused on the impact of labour migration on children left behind in Moldova and Ukraine (adverse effects, care deficit, financial implications, and gendered implications) and concluded that left-behind children are a group of increasing concern [13]. ...
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Migration is a frequent phenomenon in the current European context. It is culturally differentiated according to every country, and it has a major role in the social sustainability of families and the next generation. This paper aimed to determine the impact of parents leaving to work abroad on the lives of their left-at-home children. This gives rise to a new phenomenon of “social orphans”. This research was carried out with the participation of eight adults who, during their childhood, had a parent who went to work abroad for a period of more than one month. The research tool used was the semi-structured interview guide. The research found that the main reason for parents leaving was the precarious financial situation of their families and their need to support their children (materially, educationally, and financially). The research results showed that the resulting greater financial stability did not guarantee that family ties would develop in a positive direction. More than half of the respondents reported a worsening of relationships with family members and experienced major psycho-emotional deprivation. The family has been negatively impacted in the social sustainability of the next generation.
... Romanian children left behind caught the attention of society primarily after the publication of research outcomes that revealed "hardly digestible" statistics. These statistics are found in reports such as of the Asociația Alternativă Socială (Toth et al. 2008) and Salvați Copiii (Cojocaru et al. 2015). ...
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This book describes children and youth on the one hand and parents on the other within the newly configured worlds of transnational families. Focus is put on children born abroad, brought up abroad, studying abroad, in vulnerable situations, and/or subject of trafficking. The book also provides insight into the delicate relationships that arise with parents, such as migrant parents who are parenting from a distance, elderly parents supporting migrant adult children, fathers left behind by migration, and Eastern-European parents in Nordic countries. It also touches upon life strategies developed in response to migration situations, such as the transfer of care, transnational (virtual) communication, common visits (to and from), and the co-presence of family members in each other’s (distant) lives. As such this book provides a wealth of information for researchers, policy makers and all those working in the field of migration and with migrants.
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Huge advances have been made in deepening and expanding our knowledge of gendered migration over the last decades in both theoretical and methodological terms. Empirically it is, however, still the case that North–South migration is at the basis of most theorisations, leaving the characteristics of South–South migration at the margins. In this paper we, therefore, shift the focus to intra- and trans-regional migration in a South–South context in exploring what this means for women migrants. While feminist scholars have highlighted care and the ways in which migration challenges social reproduction as an important issue, mainstream approaches continue to focus predominantly on the ‘productive’ lives of migrant workers. With migration theories still largely drawing on the experience of South–North migration, there continues to be relatively little understanding of South–South migration’s gender dynamics, despite the fact that many of the highly feminised, yet hyper-precarious, migration flows occur intra-regionally. 50 free downloads are available from this link
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After the fall of the Communist regime, the Romanian population has decreased approximately 15%, due to the high level of labour migration. The migration of Romanians was even more intensified later on, after Romania has joined the European Union. This decrease of population was due to an increased demand of the West-European population for domestic, construction and agricultural workers, corroborated with the entitlement of the new European citizens to free movement of workers within the territory of the European Union. As a direct consequence, a minimum of 82,464 children were left behind. Given that, more and more national and international reports have started to consider children left behind as a potential vulnerable group to human trafficking Therefore, the authors of this article have started to conduct a qualitative research intending to determine, if and to which extent, children left behind are vulnerable to human trafficking. The findings of the research are presented herein.
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The family is subjected to a variety of increasingly higher prescriptions coming from various institutional contexts, a phenomenon known as the deprivatization of the domestic environment. In this context, the paper presents a qualitative research, based on Grounded Theory, analysing the effects of deprivatization on parenting, on how it is defined, regulated and modelled in terms of respecting the ideology children's rights as promoted by the Convention on the Rights of the Child. In this approach, our attention is focused on parent education programs in Romania, especially those in the rural areas, bearing in mind the magnitude of the impact of the new ideologies on the traditional Romanian family culture.
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The labour force of the migrant domestic workers (MDWs) has become one of the significant policy concerns in Asia. Most of the Asian countries are not following (or not to an equal extent) the Domestic Workers Convention 2011 (No. 189) which has been adopted by the International Labour Organization (ILO). The objective of this article is to show the transnational variations and policy concerns of the MDWs in Asia. Based on content analysis, the authors found that there are considerable transnational variations of the MDWs in terms of their age and nature of work, legal identity, working hours, and remuneration across Asian countries. These variations have serious policy concerns in a number of areas such as lack of available data of the MDWs, working conditions, exploitations, and gender issues. The findings of the article would be an important guideline for adopting new legislation and labour policy for the MDWs in Asia.
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The article presents an analysis of ad hoc research carried out by organisations in Romania and the Republic of Moldova, approaching the effects of parent migration abroad on the children staying behind in the country. Apart from the fact that the topic is approached as a means of increasing awareness and putting the issue on the public agenda, the knowledge in this domain is currently fragmentary and hampered by methodological errors as far as the research carried out so far is concerned. The identification of such errors has the role of questioning the way this issue has been researched, and of highlighting the important role as a social actor the child plays in the migrating family. This study presents an analysis of the errors found in the analysed research and highlights their role in the intensification of moral panic regarding the situation of children in migrating families.
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This article presents an analytical approach to the reality of couples with children born in Spain who descend from at least one Romanian parent. It was carried out with the official data included in the Childbirth Statistical Bulletin of the National Statistics Institute. The Romanian community represents the largest contingent of foreign residents in Spain, showing a steady growth since 2000 to the present. For this reason, it is important to learn about the processes of settlement and integration of this population. Romanian immigrants in Spain are usually young people who also marry young people (especially if it's between people of the same nationality) and who reside mainly in Madrid, Valencia, Andalusia and Catalonia. The results show that Romanian-only couples reveal different patterns from couples with only one Romanian member.
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As the emphasis on evidence-based policymaking in international development increases, so too should the attention paid to the quality of the research on which this evidence is based. One way to encourage this is by archiving research data to enable reanalysis, but this requirement is often ignored or resisted by development researchers. Similarly, ambivalent feelings are expressed about revisits to former research sites to conduct further research by original and other researchers. In this article, we outline why and how researchers archive and reanalyze qualitative data and revisit research sites, and discuss the potential benefits and challenges of these practices for development research.
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Correlation matrices and standard deviations are the building blocks of many of the commonly conducted analyses in published research, and AERA and APA reporting standards recommend their inclusion when reporting research results. The authors argue that the inclusion of correlation/covariance matrices, standard deviations, and means can enhance findings in education and psychology by permitting secondary researchers to (a) conduct commonly utilized traditional univariate and multivariate analyses not initially performed in primary studies, (b) produce effect sizes and other statistics not included in prior published literature, and (c) conduct analyses once difficult to perform. Furthermore, meta-analytic thinking is encouraged when researchers have the ability to conduct the same analyses on multiple studies and then compare these findings across studies
The separation of children from their parents, who have left abroad to work for a long period of time, may generate the feeling of abandonment and parental rejection, with repercussions on their personality. This is the reason for which the goal of this study was to examine the connection between the perception of parental rejection and psychological adjustment of the teenagers whose parents have left abroad to work. 284 high school students registered in the 9th-12th grades in three different schools participated to the study. Self-report data on maternal and paternal perceived rejection and adolescent psychological adjustment were collected. The comparisons between environments have showed that mother's migration has the highest impact on the teenagers left behind. The teenagers whose mothers have left abroad feel rejected by their mother, they are more aggressive, and have a lower self-esteem and a negative vision over the world. Father's migration determines an increase of self-esteem and of the perception of parental acceptance. The most important predictors of teenagers' psychological adjustment have proved to be father's aggressiveness and mother's aggressiveness and warmth/affection.
Albeit accumulated research supporting the deleterious effects of being socially isolated on emotional and behavioral consequences, paucity of effort has been made to investigate impacts of different forms of social isolation on such outcomes. Furthermore, no study has attempted to look into the mediating effect of life meaning and moderating effect of religiosity on the above relationships. The present study verified the positive effects of both perceived social isolation and subjective loneliness on emotional distress and hostility, in which subjective loneliness was a function of perceived social isolation and significantly mediated by one's meaningful existence. More complicated, religiosity showed a moderating role in the relationship between perceived social isolation and subjective loneliness through its promoting effect on meaning in life. Implications of these findings were emphasized in discussion, plus directions for future research also addressed.
This paper examines the nature and extent of news reports using the sociological concept, 'moral panic' (MP). Qualitative content analysis reveals that moral panic is commonly used in news reports in the USA, UK, Australia, and other countries, but it is more likely to be compatible with print (e.g. newspaper) formats than television reports. It is also widely used in literary and art reviews, editorials and op-ed pieces, often by social scientists. Use of the concept has increased over the last decade, particularly in news reports as part of an 'opposing' voice or the 'other side' of articles about deviant behavior, sexual behavior, and drug use. It is suggested that moral panic as 'opposition' fits the entertainment news format, and while this sustains its use by writers and familiarity to audience members, it also appears to be associated with certain topics (e.g. sex and drugs), but not others, such as terrorism in the mainstream media. Questions are raised for additional research.
The article illustrates some of the strategies we are developing in the secondary analysis of Timescapes data and seeks to draw some general lessons for qualitative data analysts. We focus on three different areas of work. Across all of these we examine the potential explanatory value of working with data in a comparative way, and engage with some challenges presented by contextual specificity in the way qualitative data are generated. In the first area we consider the issue of how we situate qualitative data with reference to diversity across the population, and use an example of working between a single qualitative Timescapes data set and survey data. Understanding how qualitative data are situated offers a framework for internal comparison which maps onto wider diversity. In the second area we consider the outcome of bringing together primary researchers whose comparison of project data, as secondary analysts, allow them to ‘hear silences’ and, therefore, re-interrogate their own data within a revised conceptual framework. In the third area we describe how, as secondary analysts, we have worked across Timescapes data sets. Here we consider the challenges of undertaking secondary analysis across diverse, project specific, research contexts, and the potential of comparative working across data sets for enhancing understanding.