Tamar Zurabishvili presents her paper 'Migration networks in action: Case of Daba Tianeti' co-authored by Tinatin Zurabishvili in Parallel session V(C) of the conference Examining Migration Dynamics: Networks and Beyond, 24-26 Sept 2013
International labor migration started from most of the former Soviet republics only after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, and Georgia is no exception. Since then, however, migration flows and the character of migration from Georgia changed drastically from being overwhelmingly directed towards Russia and consisting of male migrants, to redirecting itself towards the EU and Northern America and becoming feminized.
Present paper analysis how migration networks develop and work based on the analysis of two waves of fieldwork, conducted in a small migrant sending community in Georgia, Daba Tianeti. First fieldwork was conducted in Daba Tianeti in 2006 and employed a mixed method approach, consisting of the survey of all Daba Tianeti Households (1062 cases) and 23 in-depth interviews with return migrants, family members of current migrants, and potential migrants. In 2008, a survey of all Daba Tianeti households was conducted (957 cases) together with a survey of Daba Tianeti migrants in Athens (52 cases), Greece.
By 2008, every third household in Daba Tianeti had at least one migrant abroad, mainly in Western Europe, Israel, and the US, and about half of the migrant stock from the community emigrated with the help of a close relative or a friend. Present paper argues that despite the relatively short period of inclusion in the migratory processes, migrants from Daba Tianeti have already developed migration networks, that effectively connect them with both each other and members of Daba Tianeti community left behind. The paper draws on both qualitative and quantitative data to demonstrate how migration networks developed and to closely examine several cases when migration of one family member led to the migration of several other family members and/or friends from the community.