2017 – №1 (13)

Key words: social dividends, Ukrainian labour migration, healthy way of life, attitude to health, medicaldividends of migration, sanitary-hygienic dividends of migration

Abstract: The goal ofthis paperis to tracethe impact of migratory life-style on healthcondition of labour migrants and their attitude to issues of healthand healthyway of life.The paper draws from the results of a field researсhof foreign experienсe of Ukrainian labour migrants.The paper defines positive and negative aspects of the influence of foreign employmenton the attitude of labour migrants to issues of health.

This study is one of the components of a multistage trans-disciplinary project whose goal is to study gender aspects of post-Soviet Ukrainian labor migration, or “zarobitchchanstva“, a phenomenon that, according to experts in recent years, has become for many Ukrainians not only a lifestyle but also a way of thinking and collective existential culture.

Studies indicate that the approach to labor migration from the point of view of its influence on individuals, both migrants themselves and members of the remaining families of families, shows that migration is a gendered phenomenon. This is confirmed by the statistics of migration flows from Ukraine, indicating their gender-specific nature. For example, in some countries, for example, the Czech Republic and Portugal, the majority of Ukrainian “zarobitschans” are men – 67% and 62% respectively, and in others, such as Italy and Greece, women predominate – 83.2% and 70% (Na rozdorіzhzhі… 2009). In addition, labor migration has become a mechanism that has aggravated gender segmentation in the migrant labor market. Thus, according to the Ukrainian office of the Ombudsman for human rights, women abroad get employed in traditional women’s organizations as housecleaners, nurses, nannies, governesses, dancers in restaurants and bars, and men are employed as manual workers, drivers, mechanics, locksmiths and others (Dopovіd’… 2003).

In the course of the study it was revealed that while working abroad, Ukrainians earn not only financial but also social capital as an additional bonus to their foreign employment, which we define as “social dividends of migration”. By this we mean the surplus value of migration experience in the form of individual non-financial accumulation – social, ethical, cultural, aesthetic, educational, civil and other types of capital (Tolstokorova 2015, Tolstokorova 2013). In particular, we have identified such types of social dividends of migration as linguistic, cultural-aesthetic, spiritual, value, worldview, civil, disciplinary, professional, culinary, and social dividends of personal growth, healthy lifestyles and gender equality (Tolstocorova 2013a; 2013b; Tolstokorova 2016). At the same time it was revealed that the social dividends of migrants are gender specific due to the different effect of labor migration on women and men (Tolstokorova 2013a).

The main goalof this work is to study social dividends of migration in health issues from the point of view of the impact of migratory life on the psychophysical and emotional situation of Ukrainian guest workers and their attitude to health issues and healthy life. The practical task is to study gender peculiarities of social dividends earned by Ukrainian migrants abroad.

As an initial theoretical premise, health is understood as a measure of personal human capital, cultural capital, social and financial capital (Taranyuk 2013, Krauchuk, Kawachi, Berkman 2000, Viswanath et al 2006, Becker 2007, Bleakley 2010, O’Mahony, Samek 2016) . This understanding of health provides a basis for interpreting it from the position of nonmonetary theory of the capital by Pierre Bourdieu (Bourdieu 1986) as a kind of “symbolic capital”, which may give its owners certain social dividends.

This study included the following steps:

  1. Analysis of secondary theoretical sources and review of press materials on the issues of international and Ukrainian labor migration.
  2. Since 2003, we conducted selective participant and non-participant observation of the target group of the study.
  3. In summer 2008, in-depth interviews and 2 focus group discussions were organized with 25 Ukrainian experts on migration, gender and women’s studies, social policy and social work from state research institutions and non-governmental analytical centers, ministries, embassies, non-commercial organizations, state employment centers, etc. During 2007-2014, semi-formalized interviews were conducted with migrants and members of their families in Kherson, Kirovograd and Ternopil regions, in Kiev and Lviv (31 women and 12 men).


AbellaM. (2016) Migrants pay a lot of “hidden costs”.Word Bank blog“People Move”.12.17. 2016 (20.01.2017).

Аnbesse B., HanlonCh., AlemA., WhitleyR. (2009)Low-Income Ethiopian Women Working in Middle Eastern Countries. International Journal of Social Psychiatry,vol.55, issue 6, p. 557-568.

Anomalnyie holoda v Italii: Ukrainskaya zarobitchanka pogibla ot pereohlazhdeniya [Abnormal cold in Italy: Ukrainian zarobitchanka died from hypothermia] (2012). 04.02.12.

Becker G. (2007) Health as human capital: synthesis and extensions.Oxford Economics Papers,No 59 (3), p. 379-410.

Berry J., Kim U., Minde T., Mok D. (1987). Comparative studies of acculturative stress. International Migration Review, vol. 21, issue 3, p. 491-511.

Bleakley H. (2010) Health, Human Capital, and Development. AnnualReview ofEconomics, No 2, p. 283–310.

Bourdieu P. (1986) Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste. London: Routledge.

Cairns G. (2016) Four in ten people diagnosed with HIV in Europe are migrants. AIDS Map.24.06.2015. ( (20.01.2017).

Crenn Ch., DelavignеA.I., Techoueyres I. (2010) Migrants’ food habits when returning home (in Bamako, Mali, and Dakar, Senegal): To be or not to be a model? Anthropology of Food, No 7, ( (20.10.2016).

Danilevich N. (2010) Pastyrskoe okormlenie jemigrantov na opyte ukrainskoj pravoslavnoj cerkvi [Pastoral care of emigrants on the experience of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.]. Relіgіja v Ukrajinі [Religion in Ukraine], 05.10.2010. ( (20.01.2017).

Decosas J., Kane F., Anarfi J.K., Sodji K.D.R., Wagner H.U. (1995) Migration and AIDS, The Lancet, N. 346, p. 826-828.

Dobiasova K., Hnilicová H. (2010.Migrants from the former Soviet Union health and healthcare in the Czech Republic, Migratory processes in Europe: Evolution of the migratory interactions of the EU and Central and Eastern European countries.Odessa: Ministry of Transport and Communications of Ukraine,p. 56-57.

Dopovіd’ pro stan dotrymannja ta zahystu prav gromadjan Ukraїni za kordonom [Do not miss the state of keeping and protecting the interests of Ukrainian citizens for a long time], Ofіs Ombudsmena Ukraїni z prav lyudiyny [Office of the Ombudsman of Ukraine on human rights], Kyiv, 2003.

Drachkovska O. (2008) Nyanka-Nenka. Zi schodennika zarobitchanky [Nanny-Nenka From the diary of the worker], Lviv: Kalvariya.

ECDC (2010). Technical Report “Migrant health: Epidemiology of HIV and AIDS in migrant communities and ethnic minorities in EU/EEA countries”,Stockholm: European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

Gаtrell А.C.(2016) Mobilities and Heаlth, London: Rutledge.

Goel K. (2014). Domestic work and migration: a duаl burden to women’s mentаl heаlth, Social work in mental health: Areas ofpractice, challenges and way forward,Francis А.P. (Ed.), London: SagePublications.

Gushulak B.D, Pottie K.,Roberts J.H.,Torres S., DesMeules M. (2011) Migration and health in Canada: health in the global village, Canadian MedicalAssociation Journal, 183(12): E952–E958.

ICF «International HIV/AIDS Alliance in Ukraine» (2013) Monitoring the behavior and HIV-infection prevalence among NEW foreign migrants in Ukraine as a component of second generation surveillance(analytic report based on the results of biobehavioral survey of 2012), A. Grushetsky (ed), Кyiv.

Jayaweera H., Quigley M. (2010) Health Status, Health Behaviour and Healthcare Use Among Migrants in the UK, Social Science & Medicine, vol. 71, No 5, p. 1002-1010.

Kosins’ka Ju. (2008) «V Ukrajinі, sinu, ty robiv by vse ce dlja svoїh…» [“In Ukraine, son, you would do all this for your people…”], Ukrajia moloda [Young Ukraine],№ 212. 12.11.2008. ( (20.10.2016).

Lakіza-Sachuk N. (2001) Trudova mіgracіja, zdorov’ja mіgrantіv ta strategiji pobudovy civіlіzovanogo demokratychnogo suspіl’stva v Ukrjinі, Zmіny u svіdomostі ukraїns’kogo suspіl’stva na zlamі tisjacholіt’ [Labor migration, the health of migrants and strategies for building a civilized democratic society in Ukraine, Changes in the minds of Ukrainian society at the turn of the millennium], Kiїv: IREX, p. 45-51.

Liu H., Li X., Stanton B. et al. (2005) Risk factors for sexually transmitted disease among rural-to-urban migrants in China: Implications for HIV/sexually transmitted disease prevention, AIDS Patient Care and STDs,No 9, p. 49-57, Feststelltaste

Malimon N. (2001) A na ploschadi Garibaldi prodayut rabotu… [And in the Garibaldi square they sell the job …], Den‘ [Day], 25.05.2001.

Medvedeva A. (2013) Pritjazhen’ja bol’she net: chto gonit nashih zarobitchan iz Italii [There is no more gravity: what chases out our zarobitchan from Italy], Vesti: Reporter, 21.11.2013. ( (20.01.2017).

Michko C. (2011) U stanі timchasovoji smertі: shukajuchi fіnansovogo porjatunku dlja svoїh sіmej na zakordonnih zarobіtkah, ukraїncі zdebіl’shogo prirіkajut’ їh na znishhennja [In a state of temporary death: Ukrainians seeking to sustain their families at foreign jobs doom them to destruction], Ukrajina moloda [Young Ukraine], № 88, 26.05.2011.( (20.01.2017).

Nafeev A.A., Tihonov V.M., Asanov B.M., Bulgakov S.N., Magomedov M.A. (2013) Faktory epidemiologicheskogo riska v svjazi s trudovoj migraciej, Problemy social’noj gigieny, zdravoohranenija i istorii mediciny [Factors of epidemiological risk in connection with labor migration, Problems of social hygiene, health and history of medicine], № 5, P. 10-12.

Na rozdorizhzhi [At the crossroads] (2009). Analitichni materialy kompleksnogo doslidzhennya protsesiv ukrayinskoi trudovoyi migratsii (krayini Evropeyskogo soyuzu ta Rosiyska Federatsiya) [Analytical materials of the complex study of the processes of Ukrainian labor migration (the countries of European Union and Russian Federation)], ed. by I. Markova, Lviv: Karytas Ukryiny.

NІSD (2011) Trudova mіgracіja: socіal’nі naslіdki ta shljahi reaguvannja. Analіtichna dopovіd’[Labor Migration: Social Implications and Response Teams. Analytical report], Kyjiv: Nacіonal’nij іnstitut strategіchnih doslіdzhen’ [National Institute for Strategic Studies].

Novak H. (2003) Ljubov pol’s’ko-ukrajins’ka [Polish-Ukrainian Love], 20 hvylyn [20 Minutes], 23.12.2003.( (20.01.2017).(2007).

Novyny ternopіllja [Ternopil News] (2007). «Іtalіjs’kij sindrom» vіdіb’єt’sja na dіtjah zarobіtchan [“Italian syndrome” will affect children of migrant workers], 20 hvylyn [20 minutes], 11.01.2007. ( (20.01.2017).

O’Mahony M., SamekL. (2016). Health and Human Capital. Dresden: IARIW.

Parreňas R. (2005)Children of Global Migration: Transnational Families and Gendered Woes, Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Prohas’ko T. (2006). Іtalіjs’kyj syndrom, Ukrjins’ko-pol’s’kij іnternet-zhurnal [Italian syndrome, Ukrainian-Polish online magazine], 28.04.2006. <> (20.10.2016).

Sevoyan A., Agadjanian V. (2010) Male migration, women left behind, and sexually transmitted diseases in Armenia,International Migration Review, No 44, issue 2, p. 354-375.

Shegda N. (2007) Ukrajins’ka trudova mіgracіja v Іtalіji, Gіdnіst’ bez kordonіv: vyklyky mіgracіji (materіaly kruglyh stolіv) [Ukrainian labor migration in Italy, Dignity Without Borders: Migration Challenges (round table materials)],Lvіv: Komіsіja «Spravedlivіst’ і mir» UGKC, p. 46-51.

Socіal’ne oblichchya novіtn’oji ukrajins’koji trudovoji mіgracіji: rezul’tati masovogo socіologіchnogo opytuvannja ukrajins’kih zarobіtchan v Іtalіji [The social aspect of the latest Ukrainian labor migration: the results of a massive sociological survey of Ukrainian workers in Italy](2003), L’vіv: Zahіdnoukraїns’kij centr «Zhіnochі perspektivi» [Lviv: Western Ukrainian Center “Women’s Prospects”].

Strelkova N. (2006) Lyshe ukrajins’ka zhіnka zmozhe pіdnyaty Ukrajinu. «Popeljushki» z Neapolya vzhe 15 rokіv dovodjat’ ce ukrajins’kym cholovіkam, Shchotyzhnevyk «33 kanal» [Only a Ukrainian woman will be able to raise Ukraine. “Cinderella” from Naples for 15 years proves it to Ukrainian men, Weekly “33 Channel”],21.06.2006. ( (20.01.2017).

Taranjuk G. (2013) Sociokul’turnye transformacii zdravoohranenija v Ukraine,Sociologija: teorija, metody, mapketing [Socio-cultural transformations of health care in Ukraine, Sociology: theory, methods, mapping], № 1, p. 95-116.

TolstokorovaA. (2013) Social Dividends of Migrants: The case of Ukrainian transnational migration, Journal of Social Policy.Year 6, No 10, р. 147-196.

Tolstokorova A.V. (2015) Social’nye dividendy migrantov: argumentacija v pol’zu vydelenija novogo ponjatija, Kreativnaja ekonomika i social’nye innovacii [Social dividends of migrants: argumentation in favor of the allocation of a new concept, Creative economics and social innovation], ed. 5, № 4 (13), p. 79-95.

Tolstokorova A.V. (2013) «Luchi sveta v temnom carstve»: social’nye dividendy migrantov v gendernoj perspektive, Etnograficheskoe obozrenie [“Rays of Light in a Dark Kingdom”: Social Dividends of Migrants in a Gender Perspective, Ethnographic Review], № 5, p. 140-153.

Tolstokorova A. (2013) «Hleb nash nasushhnyj»: social’naja znachimost’ pishhevyh praktik ukrainskih migrantov, Diaspory[“Our daily bread”: social significance of food practices of Ukrainian migrants, Diasporas], № 2, p. 208-230.

Tolstokorova A. (2016) “To You it Shall be For Meat”: A Transcultural Perspective on Foodways of Ukrainian Transnational Migrants, The TRANSverse Journal, issue 15 “The Food Issue/ La bouffe en question”, p.70-91.

Tolstokorova A. (2017) “Again There Are Cities Between Us”: Psycho-еmotional challenges of cross-border parenting, Telescope: Journal of Sociologic and Marketing Research, № 2 (122), 2017, p. 17-23.

Tugay L. (2011) Zhittya, podilene na «do» i «pislya». Galichina (Internet versIya) [Life divided by “before” and “after”, Galicia (online version)].23.12.2011.( (25.01.2017).

UNAIDS (2014) HIV/AIDS. The Gap Report 2014. Geneva: Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS.

Van’ke A.V. (2013) Cemantika maskulinnoj telesnosti v prostranstve social’nyh razlichij. Avtoref. dis. …kand. soc. Nauk [Semantics of masculine corporeality in the space of social differences. PhD thesis]. M.: Institut sociologii RAN.

Varshaver E., Rocheva A. (2015) Integracija migrantov v kontekste kul’turnogo raznoobrazija: soobshhestva migrantov v «jetnicheskih kafe» Moskvy,Puti Rossii. Al’ternativy obshhestvennogo razvitija 2.0 [Integration of Migrants in the Context of Cultural Diversity: Migrant Communities in “Ethnic Cafes” of Moscow, Russia’s Ways. Alternatives to social development 2.0], Collection of papers, Vol. XX, ed. by M.G. Pugachevoj, A.F. Filippova. M.: Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie, p. 321-341.

Vega L. (2013) Os taki zaroitky!.. 15-richchyu zarobitchanskoyi «epopeyi» v Ispanii prisvyachuetsya [Here are some earnings! .. The 15th anniversary of the Zaporozhian “epic” in Spain is being dedicated], Ucranianos en Madrid, 02.11.2013. ( (25.01.2017).

Vigovskiy O. (2013) Zarobitki v Ispanii: z yakymi dumkamy lyudi zvidty povertayutsya [Earnings in Spain: what thoughts people return from there.], Pravoslavie Ukrayiny, 14.11.2013. ( (25.01.2017).

Viswanath K., Steele R.W., Finnegan J.R. (2006) Social Capital and Health: Civic Engagement, Community Size, and Recall of Health Messages. American Journal of Public Health, vol. 96, No 8, p. 1456-1461.

Woolston Ch. (2016) Migrant Workers and HIV/AIDS,Health Day, 20.01. 2016. ( (20.01.2017).

Worby P.A., Organista K.C. (2007). Alcohol use and problem drinking among Mexican and Central American im/migrant laborers: a review of the literature, Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences,vol. 29, no 4, p. 413-455.

Yankova M. (2013) Ukrainka poehala v Italiyu iskat svoe schaste, a nashla smert Programma «Kriticheskaya tochka», kanal «Ukraina» [Ukrainian woman went to Italy to seek her happiness, and found death // Program “Critical point”, the channel “Ukraine”], 27.12.2013. ( (25.01.2017).

Zgod‘ko N. (2013) NEitalyanka v Italii [Not Italian in Italy], Toronto: Altaspera Publishing & Literary Agency.

Zgod’ko N. (2008). Pis’mo domoj [A Letter Home], Den‘ [Day], 15.02.2008. ( (20.01.2017).

Zurabishvili T., Zurabishvili T. (2010). Psihologicheskaya tsena migratsii zhenschin iz gruzinskogo posYolka Daba Tianeti [The psychological price of the migration of women from the Georgian village of Daba Tianetti], Diaspory, No 2. P. 6-24.

This article is available in full version in Russian

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *