Internal migration, identity and livelihood strategies in contemporary Russia

Anne White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (SciVal)


This article applies the concept of 'livelihood strategies' to analyse the motivations of migrants within European Russia in the years 1999-2005. While not ignoring the economic rationale for migration the obvious draw of Moscow, where wages are several times higher than those in the provinces it also examines the aspirations and norms which help to dictate the choice of migration in preference to other strategies. It argues that the current boom in popularity of higher education in Russia reflects the emergence of a new social norm, prompting the adoption of more entrepreneurial livelihood strategies by millions of parents. For small-town and rural households, this often implies the temporary labour migration of fathers, with mothers expected to manage the household smallholding as well as hold down a low-paid local job. Successful migration of both graduates and older adults is still highly dependent on personal connections. These are facilitated by dense urban-rural networks, perpetuated by the custom of city-dwellers spending their summer holidays with rural relatives, in a society where foreign holidays are still the luxury of a minority.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555-573
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2009


  • Russian Migration
  • Labour Migration
  • Identity
  • Networks
  • Regional Disparities
  • Internal Migration


Dive into the research topics of 'Internal migration, identity and livelihood strategies in contemporary Russia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this