Messy Arrangements? A Social Networks Perspective on Migrant Labor Brokerage: The Case of Ukrainian Migration to Poland
Polish Sociological Review, 220(4), 457-484. | pages: 457-484
National Science Centre, Poland, grant no 2014/15/D/HS4/01234.
This article draws on two studies conducted between 2016 and 2018 on the nature of labor migration from Ukraine to Poland. Using quantitative and qualitative data, it analyses the relationship between social networks and employment agencies. Building on research into migration infrastructure, we question the dichotomy—which also appears in migrants’ narratives—between migrant social networks and labor brokers, and offer evidence of overlap and interdependence between the two. Exploring various aspects of labor migration, we look at the role played by the social networks of the actors (both the migrants and the intermediaries) in enhancing migration infrastructure. We show how migrants use their social capital in regard to labor brokers and how the latter, rather than replacing networks, mobilize their network resources and experience to create a trusted transnational service.