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The impact of shift migration on the intra-family life of residents of villages and small towns in Russia. On the example of the Republic of Bashkortostan

Impact de la mobilité circulatoire sur la vie intrafamiliale des habitants de villages et de petites villes en Russie (l’exemple de la République du Bashkortostan)
Guldar Akhmetova (Khilazheva)

Résumés

Dans l’article, sont exposés les résultats des recherches sociologiques, qui révélaient les changements ayant lieu aux familles russes contemporains suite à la participation des hommes (époux) dans la mobilité circulatoire – l’une des formes de la migration temporaire professionnelle.
L’auteur effectue une étude comparative des relations intrafamiliales dans les deux catégories des familles. Dans la première, les maris se déplacent régulièrement en dehors de leurs localités (groupe pilote ou familles des migrants de rotation); dans la deuxième, les époux ne sont pas impliqués à la migration temporaire (groupe témoin ou familles «ordinaires»).
L’étude a été réalisée dans l’une des régions russes les plus peuplées – Bachkortostan, dont le choix est déterminé par le taux de participation élevé de ses habitants à la mobilité circulatoire, surtout dans les villages et les petites villes. L’enquête des ménages a été réalisée en 2018 dans deux petites villes et cinq zones agricoles du Bachkortostan, situées à la frontière des autres régions et ayant un niveau bas du développement social et économique.
Les résultats de l’étude ont confirmé les hypothèses sur l’impact de la migration temporaire professionnelle à la formation des relations singulières trans-locales entre les membres de la famille lors des missions de l’époux (phénomène de soi-disant « participation sociale dans le contexte de l’absence de présence physique »); à la transformation des relations intrafamiliales des habitants des villages et de petites villes, ce qui provoque l’affaiblissement des orientations sexospécifiques et des clichés du comportement des hommes et des femmes ; sur différentes conséquences de la mobilité circulatoire pour ses participants – tant positives que négatives; sur la prédominance du caractère forcé de la participation des familles à la mobilité circulatoire.

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Notes de l’auteur

The results of this study were published by the author in the journal: G.F. Khilazheva (Аkhmetova). Modern family in the context of translocal migration (On the example of families of shift migrants in Bashkortostan). A woman in Russian society. 2021. No. 1. pp. 68-82.DOI: 10.21064/WINRS.2021.1.6.

Texte intégral

Introduction

  • 1 Here and further we will separate the concepts of «shift migrants» and «temporary labor migrants». (...)

1In post-Soviet Russia, one of the ways to adapt the population to the prevailing socio-economic conditions and limited opportunities in the labor market has become shift migration – a form of temporary employment that involves with a certain frequency (at least once a week) regular trips outside of their settlement1.

2In Russia, there is a constant increase in the participation of the population in temporary employment, including shift work. According to the labor force survey of the Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat), from 2012 to 2019, the total number of temporary labor migrants working outside their subjects increased from 2246 thousand to 2928 thousand, including shift migrants – from 1563 thousand to 1845 thousand, respectively [Rosstat, 2012, 2019].

3The real number of temporary labor migrants, including shift workers, is certainly larger. This is due to the fact that, firstly, Rosstat takes into account only those migrants who travel to other subjects (regions). And labor migrants working in the regions where they permanently reside do not fall into the sample of the Rosstat survey. Secondly, illegal labor migrants are significantly represented in Russia, which cannot be taken into account by official statistics.

4Today, temporary labor migration of Russians in its nature and content is close to the two forms of employment widespread in the pre-Soviet and Soviet periods. In the first case, we are talking about otkhodnichestvo (seasonal work of Tsarist Russia peasants), its scale in the middle of the 19th century reached 3–5 million people, and at the beginning of the 20th century the number of peasants-otkhodniks in some provinces reached 80–90% [Plyusnin, 2013]. In the second, – about the shift method of work in its traditional sense, which has been used since the 1950s–1970s in the Soviet Union in the development of oil and gas fields. In modern Russian legislation, shift working methods are designated as the implementation of the labor process in uninhabited, remote areas or areas with special natural conditions with clearly defined rules and principles for work and rest organization of workers [Trudovoi kodeks, 2020]. Today, shift work methods are used not only in the gas and oil fields, but also in other sectors of the economy.

5Shift migration can be considered as one of the forms of translocal migration, i.e. migration, which presupposes a stable close relationship of the migrant with his relatives, social groups left in his homeland – a kind of social presence against the background of physical absence, which occurs thanks to modern methods of communication and communication. Translocal migration is similar in its content and nature to cross-border migration, however, unlike it, it is carried out within one country, while cross-border migration is migration between different countries and continents.

6In this article, the author examines the features of participation in rotational migration of residents of villages and small towns of Bashkortostan – one of the largest Russian regions in terms of population in the Ural-Volga region. More than 4 million people live here and it ranks seventh among the subjects of the Russian Federation in terms of population. A significant place in the Republic’s economy is occupied by the extraction of oil, gas, and ores; the petrochemical and oil refining industries are developed. Professional personnel are being trained for these industries in the Republic.

7This orientation of the Republic's economic development, a high level of training for the relevant sectors of the economy against the background of an increasing shortage of jobs with decent wages, largely determined that Bashkortostan has become a leader in Russia in terms of the scale of population participation in shift migration.

8The number of temporary labor migrants in the Republic, working outside their subjects is steadily growing. From 2013 to 2019, it increased from 125.9 thousand to 160.7 thousand of people. In our opinion, about 90% of them are shift migrants. Most of the temporary labor migrants of Bashkortostan go to work in Siberia – in the autonomous districts of the Tyumen Region (65.8%) [Bashkortostanstat, 2020].

9For many years, the Republic has been second only to the Moscow and Leningrad regions in terms of the number of temporary labor migrants. In 2019, their number was equal to 822.1 thousand in the Moscow region and 170.5 – in the Leningrad region. However, in these two regions, in contrast to Bashkortostan, there are mainly pendulum (daily) migrants which go to Moscow and St. Petersburg for temporary work. Excluding these subjects, Bashkortostan ranks first in Russia in terms of the absolute number of temporary labor migrants.

10At the same time, according to the relative indicator – the share of temporary labor migrants in the employed population – Bashkortostan is inferior to some subjects of the Russian Federation and according to the results of 2017–2019, it occupied the 13th position in the rating of Russian regions for this indicator.

  • 2 Сalculated by the author of the article based on: Data from the Labor Force Survey of the Federal S (...)

11The author divided the Russian regions, depending on the share of temporary labor migrants among the employed population, into three groups: with a high (over 10%), medium (from 5 to 10%) and low (less than 5%) levels of participation (see Map-scheme 1 «The share of temporary labor migrants in the employed population of Russian regions, on average per year for 2017-2019 years.,%»)2.

12The Republic can be attributed to subjects with an average level of participation of the employed population in temporary labor migration, since the share of temporary labor migrants in the employed population in 2017-2019 amounted to 8.6% on average per year.

  • 3 Small cities – urban settlements with a population of less than 50 thousand people; medium – from 5 (...)
  • 4 Data from sociological research: 1) «Strategy of socio-economic development of the Republic of Bash (...)

13Representative sociological surveys of the population conducted in Bashkortostan in 2015 and 2019 revealed a high share of participation in rotational migration of residents from villages, small and medium-sized towns; low – from big cities3 and the capital of the republic with a million population – Ufa4.

14As sociological data showed, firstly, rural and small and medium-sized towns' residents prevailed in the structure of rotational migrants (the share of the former was equal to 64 and 66%; the second – 20 and 18%) (Fig. 1). Secondly, between the two surveys, the participation rate significantly increased exactly among rural residents (from 8.7% to 14.8%).

Figure 1. The structure of shift migrants by type of settlement, % of the respondents

Figure 1. The structure of shift migrants by type of settlement, % of the respondents

Source: Data from sociological research: 1) «Strategy of socio-economic development of the Republic of Bashkortostan until 2030», 2015, sample size – 6264 people; 2) «Problems of socio-demographic and socio-economic development of the Republic of Bashkortostan», 2019, sample size – 1000 people.

  • 5 Calculated by the author based on: the Republic of Bashkortostan municipal districts of rural settl (...)
  • 6 Сalculated by the author based on: the Republic of Bashkortostan municipal districts of rural settl (...)

15The increase in participation level of rural population in shift migration is also shown by rural municipal districts’ data of Bashkortostan. According to them, the number of shift migrants in rural settlements of the Republic increased in 2015–2018 from 6.1% to 9.4% of the rural working-age population of the Republic5.This indicator is highly differentiated at the level of individual municipal districts of the Republic and ranges from 3% in the Central regions of the Republic to 30% in remote, outlying areas, especially in the South-East, North-East and North of Bashkortostan, which are the least developed and urbanized territories of the Republic (see Map-scheme 2"The share of shift migrants in the rural able-bodied population of the municipal districts of the Republic of Bashkortostan, on average per year for 2015-2018, %")6.

16Nearly the same participation level in shift migration of rural working-age population was revealed by studies in other regions of Russia. Particularly in rural areas of the Non-Black Earth Zone, this indicator ranged from 5 to 30% and depended on the proximity of the territory to a major center, transport situation, demographic composition of the population, and socio-economic development [Nefedova & others, 2016].

17Thus, residents of villages and small towns are characterized by a high level of participation in shift migration. Shift migration becomes a way of life for this category of population, affecting their daily life and its various spheres, including family life.

18The aim of the study, which results are reflected in this article, was to identify the intra-family life features of shift migrants based on a comparative analysis with the other category of families in which spouses did not participate in shift migration.

19To achieve this goal, the author solves the following tasks:

  1. Formation of translocal links between shift migrants and related groups (closeness of contacts and the nature of communication between rotational migrants and their families, spouse and children during their stay on the road;

  2. Assessment of participation level of spouses in the upbringing of children in different categories of families.

  3. Attitudes and behavior in housework distribution between husbands and wives in different categories of families.

  4. Determination of leadership roles between men and women in different categories of families;

  5. Spouses' evaluation of shift employment consequences, satisfaction with family relationships.

20The author put forward the following working hypotheses of the study.

  1. Participation in shift migration forms a kind of translocal relationship between a shift migrant and his family members, when being away from home, he has the opportunity to participate and control the life of his family (participation in solving household issues, raising children, etc.).

  2. In families of shift migrants, traditional gender attitudes and behavioral stereotypes are weakened and egalitarian ones are strengthened, which can be manifested in such issues of everyday life as the distribution of household responsibilities, care and upbringing of children, family leadership, etc.
    As a result of a spouse’ long-term regular absence, the transformation of traditional intra-family relations takes place – attitudes towards strict adherence to certain gender attitudes and behavior (in the field of children raising, housework distribution, leadership positions between husband and wife determination) are weakened. Families of temporary labor migrants are becoming more egalitarian in terms of the nature of matrimonial relationships and gender roles as compared to those families in which husbands do not participate in temporary labor migration.

  3. Participation in shift migration has both positive and negative effects for families of shift migrants. The first include improving the socio-economic situation of families, raising the standard of living, egalitarianization of intra-family relations; as for the second – the emergence of household, economic, psychoemotional difficulties for the spouses who remained at home, as well as deterioration in the physical health and well-being of shift migrants.

  4. For the majority of families in villages and small towns of Bashkortostan participation in shift migration is a forced measure and a response to the difficult socio-economic situation. Under favorable socio-economic conditions, the families of rotational migrants would have made a choice in favor of the «non-participation» of the spouses in rotational employment.

Literature on the research problem

21This study is based on the concept approaches of the theory of cross-border and translocal migration. Researchers are examining the phenomenon of the formation of cross-border and translocal migration links in the global context, as well as in Russia [Kaiser, Brednikova, 2004; Brednikova, Tkach, 2010; Abashin 2017, etc.].

22The transnationalism concept assumes that migrants who develop and maintain multiple family, economic, social and other relationships that go beyond certain (state) boundaries are transmigrants [Glick Schiller & others, 1992]. The modern transmigrant is not tied to only one place, but lives in several places at once and is simultaneously included in several communities. At the same time, thanks to the development of new electronic technologies, Internet communications, a transmigrant is able to combine physical absence from any community with social presence and participation and create a «transnational social space» [Pries, 1996].

23More and more families are involved in transnational migration. Researchers propose to consider the family in the context of cross-border migration, using concepts such as transnational family, transnational parenting, motherhood, fatherhood and childhood [Kambouri, Zavos, 2011; Sørensen, 2005; Tolstokorova, 2013].

24The concept of translocality is close to the ideas of cross-border migration. According to this concept, in the context of globalization, there is an increase in «deterritorialized» groups, which contributes to the emergence of new «translocal solidarities» [Appadurai, 1996; Kajzer M., Brednikova]. Translocality is a special case of transnational migrations, when "mobility, migrations, circulations and spatial interactions" occur within the same country [Kapustina, 2017: 28.].

25Shift migration (long distance commuting (LDC), fly-in/fly-out (FIFO) can be considered as one of the forms of translocal migration. Shift forms of employment are common in the USA (Alaska), Norway, Canada, Australia. This contributes to the development of research in this area. K. Storey's research [Storey 2001, 2010] examines the issues of mobile employment on the example of Canada, Alaska and Australia («fly-in/fly-out»). This type of employment leads to the formation of «new communities» («temporary community»). They are formed in the so-called «new cities», places of temporary residence and employment of migrant workers. According to the author, mobile employment is typical for remote territories. The mining industry is developing in these territories, which has both positive and negative effects for both receiving and giving territories.

26The consequences for the giving and receiving communities as a result of shift work are comprehensively studied on the example of mining enterprises in Australia. Scientists have revealed the contradictory influence of temporary employment on the lives of workers and local communities [McKenzie, 2016]. The influence of shift work on the health status and stress level of temporary migrants, especially those with families [Biggs & others, 2016; James &others, 2020], on the nature of intra-family relationships is also being studied [Gallegos, 2005, Sibbel, 2010].

27The impact of Long-Distance Commuting on family stability is considered by scientists in Scotland. They concluded that this form of employment contributes to the separation of married couples [Sandow, 2019]. The issues of the state of the family institution through the prism of cross-border migration of CIS residents to Western Europe are highlighted by Ukrainian scientists [Tolstokorova, 2013].

28The problems of shift employment are widely studied by Austrian scientists. The object of their research is shift migrants in Russia. In particular, they investigate the issues of shift employment in Siberia [Saxinger, 2016] and the Ural-Volga region (Bashkortostan) [Ofner, 2017]. E. Ofner studied in detail the economic, social, and cultural environment in which shift migrants from the southeastern regions of Bashkortostan live. She drew conclusions about the role of shift migration as a tool for social mobility of families of shift workers. According to the researcher, shift migration to the northern regions is a reaction of the population to the structural problems of the village. Other Russian scientists have also considered the problems of shift employment of residents of rural areas of Bashkortostan [Turakaev, 2016; Karachurina, 2020].

29It should be noted that the issues of shift employment have been studied by Russian scientists in other regions of Russia. Basically, the researchers studied shift migration in rural areas, small and medium-sized cities. Yu. Plyusnin and his colleagues, using the term «otkhodniki», on the basis of qualitative methods studied the social situation and lifestyle of temporary labor migrants living in small towns of central and European Russia. [Plusnin & others, 2013]. A comprehensive study of temporary labor migration based on quantitative (survey of household members) and qualitative (interviews with experts) research methods, as well as an analysis of the data of the statistics were conducted by N.Mkrtchyan and Yu. Florinskaya [Mkrtchyan, Florinskaya, 2015, 2019; Nefedova, 2016].

30The phenomenon of cross-border and translocal migration is considered by Russian scientists from the point of view of social anthropology. Theoretical issues of the study of the trans-national space, everyday practices and identities of migrants are investigated by S.Abashin [Abashin, 2017]. N. Kapustina examines the migration of Dagestan residents to the northern regions, the formation of a single translocal social space for them and their families [Kapustina, 2017].

31At the same time, it should be noted that despite the variety of works revealing certain aspects of temporary labor migration, there are practically no special studies revealing the impact of shift migration on the institution of family and marriage, the transformation of intra-family relations in Russia.

Sociological research methodology

  • 7 Data from sociological research: «Internal labor migration of residents of villages and small towns (...)

32The article is based on the results of a sociological study conducted under the authors’ leadership in 2018 in seven rural areas and two small towns of the republic7.

33When developing the program and tools for sociological research, the author relied on the methodological approaches of Russian scientists who conducted field research among shift workers in small cities of Russia [Mkrtchyan, Florinskaya, 2015]. Besides, in constructing research samples and conducting field work the author's own approach was implemented.

34As the main goal of the study was to identify how rotational migration affects intra-family relations, the task was set to interview two different categories of families – participating and not participating in shift migration. At the same time, married couples in both registered and unregistered marriages were interviewed.

35In the first (experimental) group of families, husbands regularly moved outside their settlement to temporary work (families of shift migrants). In the second (control) group of families, husbands were not involved in temporary migration (the so-called «ordinary» families).

36Thus, two samples of 200 married couples were formed. The experimental sample (families of shift migrants) was the target, formed by the «snowball» method, stratified by the type of settlement (city-village) based on data on the share of shift migrants obtained from the previous representative sociological survey in Bashkortostan in 2015 (survey «Strategy of socio-economic development of the Republic of Bashkortostan until 2030»). The control sample («ordinary» families) was probabilistic, route-based, stratified by the type of settlement (urban-rural) based on statistical data on the amount of population.

37One of the conditions for the study of two categories of families was to ensure the identity of these groups in the presence of one distinguishing factor – participation or non-participation in the shift work of the husband. This determined the approach to sampling. The similarity of the experimental and control groups was ensured, first, by the unity of the place of residence, as the selection of households of both groups was carried out in the same settlements. Secondly, the same age range for both groups (from 20 to 59 years old). Thus, identical subsamples of the experimental and control groups were formed. The use of additional quota characteristics, such as education level, income level, and others, was impossible due to limited information on the distribution of these characteristics among persons involved in rotational migration and the laboriousness of the process of selecting households in accordance with these characteristics.

38The selection criteria for both groups were as follows: 1) complete family, which is in a registered or unregistered marriage); 2) the duration of marriage is to be at least one year; 3) one of the spouses is to be between the age of 20 and 59; 4) in the experimental group, at least one of the spouses (or both) participates in shift migration, i.e. goes to work outside of his settlement for a period from five days to several months; in the control group – none of the spouses is involved and has no experience of participation in temporary labor migration. Thus, the experimental and control groups differ in the presence or absence of at least one of the spouses involved in labor migration.

39The territorial distribution of the sample is also based on data on labor migrants according to the results of the 2015 survey. According to these data, among labor migrants from villages, small and medium-sized cities, 28.5% live in cities, 71.5% in rural areas.

40Two small towns, Baymak and Davlekanovo, and five rural municipalities on the border of the Republic were initially selected for the study: South-East (Zilairsky and Khaybullinsky districts) and North-East (Mechetlinsky); North-West (Krasnokamsky), and West (Yermekeyevsky).

41The choice of these territories for the survey of shift migrants and households was due to the fact that these cities and districts are significantly removed from the center of the Republic (except Davlekanovo) and have a relatively low level of socio-economic development. The current situation in the studied territories is typical for most small towns and rural areas located on the periphery of the Republic.

42Field research was conducted in two stages.

43The first stage is a survey of married couples from the experimental group (survey of shift migrants and their spouses).

44The second stage is a survey of married couples in the control group of families.

45The survey was conducted at the respondents' place of residence using the interview method.

46Based on the results of the study, databases were formed based on the SPSS software package.

47According to the results of the study, 90% of shift migrants were men, 10% were women. This article will consider families in which husbands are shift migrants in order to be able to make a comparative analysis of gender attitudes and behavior of men and women in different types of families.

Research result

Formation of translocal links between shift migrants and their families

48The results of the study make it possible to assert that most of shift migrants’ families are in close daily contact with their family members. Most often, shift migrants daily communicate with their spouses (86%), and a slightly less often – with their children (58%) (Fig. 2).

Figure 2. Responses of shift migrants on the frequency of communication with their wives and children during their shift work, % of the respondents

Figure 2. Responses of shift migrants on the frequency of communication with their wives and children during their shift work, % of the respondents

Source: Data from sociological research: «Internal labor migration of residents of villages and small towns of Bashkortostan: factors and consequences», 2018, sample size – 800 people (400 married couples).

49Less than a half of shift migrants noted that they talk every day with other relatives living together (44%) and about one in five – with friends (23%).

50Topics discussed by shift workers in conversation with their spouses can be summarized as follows: household, economic, financial issues of the family (about 24%); common family affairs (17–21%); problems of children (16–22%); each others', children', relatives' health (8–12%); other topics («how is it in the village / town», «what is the weather», etc.) (15–17%). Women more often mention topics related to children; men – common family affairs.

51Being away from home, husbands are quite involved in family affairs, problems of their family members. This is the opinion of both the majority of shift migrants themselves (75%) and their spouses (73%). Only 25% of men and 15% of women described their relationship with their family as weak. About 10% of wives indicated that their husbands are not at all involved in family affairs (only 0.6% of shift migrants themselves hold this view).

Participation of shift migrants in parenting

52Almost all shift migrants (men) have children – 94.7%, including 65% – minors (under 18).

53One of the stereotypes of family life is the idea that children care of should be carried out mainly by women. One of the objectives of the study was to determine how strong these traditional attitudes are in different groups of families.

54The results of the survey showed that fathers – shift migrants are more strongly involved in parenting than fathers from «ordinary» families.

55First, both spouses in the control and experimental groups had to assess whether they considered sufficient time that they could devote to their children. In the families of shift migrants, both husband and wife more often assessed this time as «sufficient»; in «ordinary» families – as «very rarely» or «I do not have it at all». During the husband's out of the house stay, the proportion of wives who have sufficient time to raise their children is reduced to 68% (Table 1).

Table 1. Distribution of responses to the question «Do you have enough time to devote to raising children?», % of the respondents

Variants of answers

Respondents

Fathers-shift migrants

Fathers from «ordinary» families

Mothers- wives of shift migrants (husband at home)

Mothers- wives of shift migrants (husband is away)

Mothers from «ordinary» families

Yes, I have enough time

63.6

47.8

84.4

68.0

71.0

I have time very rarely

22.1

36

10.6

20.6

17.3

No, I don't have time at all

9.3

12.4

1.5

6.4

6.8

I can't answer

5.0

3.8

3.5

5.0

4.9

Subtotal

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

Source: Data from sociological research: «Internal labor migration of residents of villages and small towns of Bashkortostan: factors and consequences», 2018, sample size – 800 people (400 married couples).

56Second, a husband and a wife had to assess the extent of their involvement in parenting. The respondents’ answers showed that among mothers and fathers from different categories of families, answers about a high degree of their participation in parenting dominate, moreover, more often among women (Fig. 3).

Figure 3. Respondents' assessment of the extent of their participation in raising children, % of the respondents

Figure 3. Respondents' assessment of the extent of their participation in raising children, % of the respondents

Source: Data from sociological research: «Internal labor migration of residents of villages and small towns of Bashkortostan…».

57Among fathers–shift migrants, there are slightly more of those who give high assessments of their participation (72.9%) than among fathers from «ordinary» families (70.5%). It should be noted that a certain share of shift migrants (37.2%) believe that even while on shift, they are quite strongly involved in parenting.

58Third, men and women were asked questions about their direct contribution to parenting: 1) whether they meet/accompany the child to school, kindergarten, clubs, etc.; 2) whether they help in preparing homework.

59Most of the respondents in both categories of families (from 41 to 47%) said that duty to accompany children was evenly distributed. In the other type of parental assistance and care – in preparing homework – the prevailing answers were that only women are involved in this (47–51% in shift workers' families and 56–57% in «ordinary» families) (Table 2).

Table 2. Distribution of answers to questions about who usually meets / accompanies children and helps them do their homework, % of the respondents

Variants of answers

Respondents

Fathers-shift migrants

Mothers-wives of shift migrants

Fathers from «ordinary» families

Mothers from «ordinary» families

Meets/accompanies children to school, kindergarten, clubs…

Mostly the husband

24.0

18.4

9.4

8.8

Mostly the wife

29.7

29.4

42.1

39.6

Both husband and wife equally

41.3

47.8

42.2

44

Other relatives

5.0

4.4

6.3

7.6

Subtotal

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

Helps to do homework

Mostly the husband

5.8

7.4

5.1

7.6

Mostly wife

51.8

47.8

57.6

56.3

Both husband and wife equally

36.0

38.2

27.2

26.6

Other

6.4

6.5

7.0

9.5

Subtotal

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

Source: Data from sociological research: «Internal labor migration of residents of villages and small towns of Bashkortostan…».

60The results of the study show that the participation of women in these types of parental care and upbringing is slightly higher in «ordinary» families than in families of shift migrants. If the contribution of fathers to helping children study in both categories of families is the same, then the scale of female participation is relatively higher in «ordinary» families; joint participation is higher in families of shift migrants.

Attitudes and behavior in the distribution of household work between husbands and wives

61One of the main markers determining the degree of influence of traditional gender attitudes in the sphere of family life is the distribution of household responsibilities. As a rule, traditional stereotypes assume active participation in household for women, and passive for men, as well as the division of certain types of domestic work into «female» and «male».

62Studies of domestic labor gender division of in various countries (the USA, Western and Eastern Europe, including Russia), conducted from the 1970s–1980s, show that in most cases domestic work in modern families was considered as female sphere of activity [Anisimova, 2016; Tianyue, 2010]. At the same time, the family was viewed as a social institution with persistently low level of gender equality [McDonald, 2000].

63To identify how strong the problems of gender differentiation are expressed in the studied families while performing household chores, the respondents were asked to determine the contribution of each spouse to the performance of 12 types of household (Fig. 4).

64The respondents' answers showed a fairly traditional distribution of household responsibilities in both groups of families. The following types of work are mostly performed by women: washing and ironing (89–91% of respondents); cleanup, mopping , washing-up (75–81% of respondents); cooking (80% of respondents in «ordinary» families and 66% in families of shift workers) (Fig. 4.1).. Men participation in them is very small and varies between 4–7% (Fig. 4.2). At the same time, there were answers that this «women's» work can be performed jointly by a husband and a wife, and more often – in families of shift migrants.

65So, if in «ordinary» families 12% of respondents answered that both husband and wife participate in cooking equally, in families of shift migrants this was indicated by twice as many respondents – 27% (Fig. 4.3).

Figure 4. Distribution of household work in different categories of families, % of the respondents

4.1. Mostly done by wife

4.1. Mostly done by wife

4.2. Mostly done by husband

4.2. Mostly done by husband

4.3. Done by husband and wife together

4.3. Done by husband and wife together

Source: Data from sociological research: «Internal labor migration of residents of villages and small towns of Bashkortostan…».

66Traditionally, male work, where participation rate of men reaches 80%, and women 8–9%, is small repairs around a house.

67Together, both spouses most often work in the garden/vegetable garden (72–73%), take care for livestock and poultry (55–64%), purchase food (49–53%).

68Analysis of the gender domestic work distribution in different categories of families shows that the workload of women in «ordinary» families is significantly higher than in families of shift migrants. In the latter, men are more involved in the joint performance of various types of work, including «traditionally» female.

69This circumstance, according to the author, is due to two reasons: first, shift workers, being at home, are on vacation and have more opportunities and time to do housework and raise children; second, they adhere to a lesser extent to traditional views on the distribution of roles between men and women. This is evidenced by the answers of the respondents about how, in general, household responsibilities in their families are distributed, and what they should be, in their opinion, in the «correct», «ideal» situation.

70Most of the respondents (from 84 to 90%) in both categories of families believe that between spouses there should be an equal distribution of household responsibilities. A small share of respondents adheres to traditional views of domestic work, when it is entirely on the woman, among whom the majority are men from the control group of families (7.6%), and there are almost half of men from shift workers with a similar point of view (3.9%). There are also few of those who consider only male participation in household chores to be «ideal»: there are relatively more of them in shift workers' families (about 3–4%) than in the control group of families (about 1.5–2.5%). The fact that such a situation has developed in their families was indicated by 7.2% of male shift workers and 3.5% of men from the other group of families (Table 3).

Table 3. Distribution of answers to questions: I. «In your opinion, how should household responsibilities be distributed in a modern family, what distribution is, in your opinion, the most correct?» («Ideal» situation), II. «Who does most of the housework in your family?» (Real situation), % of the respondents

Variants of answers

Respondents

Husbands-shift migrants

Wives of shift migrants

Husbands from «ordinary» families

Wives from «ordinary» families

I. The «ideal» situation

Should a wife do

3.9

5

7,6

3,5

Household work should be equally divided between husband and wife.

85

90.6

84.3

89.9

A husband should do most of the housework in the family.

4.4

3.,3

1.5

2.5

I am at a loss to answer

6.7

1.1

6.6

4.0

Subtotal

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

II. Real situation

In our family, the wife performs

15.6

20.4

29.0

29.5

In our family, it is equally distributed between husband and wife

75.6

76.8

67.0

65.0

In our family, the husband performs

7.2

2.8

3.5

3.6

I am at a loss to answer

1.7

0,0 

1.5

2

Subtotal

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

Source: Data from sociological research: «Internal labor migration of residents of villages and small towns of Bashkortostan…».

71More than a quarter of the spouses from the control group of families noted that in real life, housework lies mainly with a woman (29% of men and women) and much less – from families of shift workers (15.6% of women and 20.4% of men).

72As well as in the distribution of household duties, the largest share among the respondents were the supporters of egalitarian model of family; 85 to 92% of spouses in both categories of families believe that in the «ideal», «correct» family should be equal relations; it had happened in real life – 75 to 83% of families.

73The difference in answers between spouses from different categories of families is approximately 3–5%, while the majority of husbands and wives from shift migrant families tend to have an egalitarian model of behavior (Table 4).

Table 4. Distribution of answers to questions: I. «In the modern family, who should have the decisive voice in deciding important issues – a husband or a wife?» («Ideal» situation), %. II. «In Your family, who most often has the deciding voice when deciding important issues?» (Real situation), % of the respondents

 

Husbands-shift migrants

Wives of shift migrants

Husbands from «ordinary» families

Wives from «ordinary» families

I. The «ideal» situation

It is more correct when a husband and a wife solve important issues together

88.8

92.3

85.8

87.4

It is more correct when the deciding vote belongs to the husband

7.3

5.5

10.2

10.6

It is more correct when the deciding vote belongs to the wife

0.6

0.6

0.5

0.5

I can't answer

3.4

1.7

3.6

1.5

Subtotal

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

II. Real situation

In our family we often decide together

83.5

82.2

78.9

75.5

In our family, the husband often has the deciding vote

8.5

11.1

10.1

15

In our family, the wife often has the deciding vote

5.7

4.4

8.5

5

I can't answer

2.3

2.2

2.5

4.5

Subtotal

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

Source: Data from sociological research: «Internal labor migration of residents of villages and small towns of Bashkortostan…».

74Thus, as sociological data show, the answers of respondents from different families demonstrate a tendency towards weakening of traditional gender attitudes and stereotypes among shift workers and their spouses. In our opinion, one of these factors is the participation of families in temporary labor migration, as a result of it traditional and daily way of family life is changed, a woman often has to rely on herself in solving life support family problems, what, in turn, is reflected in the value attitudes and behavior of both spouses.

75Based on this, a research question arises – to what extent people who have made a decision to participate in temporary labor migration are themselves carriers of new views on gender relations in the family, regardless of their participation or non-participation in migration processes. The determination of peoples' deep causes of settings and behavior requires new, both qualitative and quantitative research at the intersection of sociology and social psychology.

Spouses’ assessment of shift work consequences, satisfaction with family relations

76The study found out shift migrants opinion about the consequences that they see as a result of men's participation in shift employment. Among the positive effects of work on the road, those most often mentioned were those associated with expanding the financial capabilities of the family, improving the level and quality of life: improving the financial situation of the family (76.3% of the answers of husbands, 67% of wives); improving housing conditions (37% of the answers of the first and 41% of the second), expanding opportunities for shopping (36% and 51%, respectively) and paying for children's studies (16% of wives and 18% of husbands). It was also noted that there was an opportunity to help relatives financially (9% and 6.1%, respectively).

77Men noted such positive consequences as improving their professional level (31.1%) and expanding their horizons (22%); women – they had more time to devote to themselves (14.5%), as well as being more independent (11.7%) (Fig.5).

Figure 5. Assessment by husbands and wives in shift migrants’ families the positive effects of shift employment, % of the respondents*

Figure 5. Assessment by husbands and wives in shift migrants’ families the positive effects of shift employment, % of the respondents*

*The sum of responses is more than 100%, because several answers were offered

Source: Data from sociological research: «Internal labor migration of residents of villages and small towns of Bashkortostan…».

78Spouses in shift migrants families also noted the negative consequences of working out of town, among which women are dominated by an increase in housework (70.2%), men – a decrease in the possibility to communicate with children (58.5%). The latter was also noted by about a quarter of women (25.4%). Every second male (50%) and about every tenth female (about 11%) indicated health deterioration. Serious negative consequences for a significant part of male are the reduction in the time for housekeeping (47.2%), communicating with friends (43.2%); for female-great fatigue (28.2%) and lack of a sense of security when the husband is away (24.9%) (Fig. 6).

Figure 6. Assessment by husbands and wives in shift migrants’ families the negative effects of shift employment, % of the respondents

Figure 6. Assessment by husbands and wives in shift migrants’ families the negative effects of shift employment, % of the respondents

*The sum of responses is more than 100%, because several answers were offered

Source: Data from sociological research: «Internal labor migration of residents of villages and small towns of Bashkortostan…».

79The study found out which of the two values – family, strong marriage, on the one hand, and material well-being, prosperity, on the other – are dominant for married couples from different categories of families (Fig. 7).

Figure 7. Distribution of answers to the question «If you have to choose between family well-being (strong marriage) and material well-being of the family (have enough money), what would you choose?», % of the respondents

Figure 7. Distribution of answers to the question «If you have to choose between family well-being (strong marriage) and material well-being of the family (have enough money), what would you choose?», % of the respondents

Source: Data from sociological research: «Internal labor migration of residents of villages and small towns of Bashkortostan…».

80Most of the couples have made a choice in favor of family values and marriage. However, there are slightly fewer of them in families of shift migrants. Women in both categories of families show a slightly greater focus on material well-being than their husbands.

Conclusions

81The study generally confirmed the working hypotheses put forward. First, the results suggest that prolonged and regular absence of a shift migrant forms a kind of translocal relationship between him and his family members, the essence of which can be described as physical absence against the background of social presence. This is reflected in the fact that during their stay away, men often communicate with their family, most of them on a daily basis (thanks to cellular and Internet connections). The majority of shift migrants, being away from home, are quite strongly involved in the daily affairs and problems of their families, and more than a third believe that they are actively involved in parenting.

82Second, the study showed that shift migration transforms traditional gender attitudes and behavioral patterns. During their stay at home, shift migrants are more involved in certain types of child care than husbands from the control group of families; in particular, they are more likely to accompany children to and from classes. In addition, in families of shift migrants, men are more involved in performing traditionally female types of domestic work or performing them together. In many ways, this situation may be due to the fact that men, after returning from the work, are on vacation, do not attend job, and have more time for parenting and homework.

83However, even at the level of attitudes, shift migrants and their wives show more egalitarian views than spouses from «ordinary» families. Among them there are more supporters of egalitarian relationships between a husband and a wife both in doing homework and solving important family problems.

84Third, the survey showed that shift work leads to different consequences – both positive and negative. The improvement of the financial situation of the family is accompanied by certain dissatisfaction of the spouses with their married life: men feel that they have less opportunities to fulfill their fathers and husbands roles when they are away; women experience both domestic and psychological difficulties when they are alone. In addition, shift migration negatively affects the physical health of men and women.

85Fourth, the study showed that participation in shift migration for families is a forced measure, as evidenced by their choice in favor of the value of family and marriage, rather than material well-being.

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Notes

1 Here and further we will separate the concepts of «shift migrants» and «temporary labor migrants». The first group includes people who go to work outside their locality for a week or more (usually up to two or three months); the second group includes people who are represented by both shift and pendulum (daily) migrants. Since 2011, Rosstat has been collecting data on temporary labor migrants who go to other regions of Russia for temporary work as part of the labor force survey. If at the country level as a whole, Rosstat publishes data on the number of both pendulum and shift migrants, there are no such available data for individual subjects of the Russian Federation, which makes it somewhat difficult to analyze the scale of shift migration at the regional level.

2 Сalculated by the author of the article based on: Data from the Labor Force Survey of the Federal State Statistics Service for 2017–2019. Maps’s author – specialists of the Institute for strategic studies of the Republic of Bashkortostan I. Sagitov. Note. The author calculated the data not for one year, but on average per year for a three-year period. This method of data calculation makes it possible to neutralize the annual fluctuations in the values of the indicator at the level of individual territories and gives a more complete picture of the situation in them.

3 Small cities – urban settlements with a population of less than 50 thousand people; medium – from 50 thousand to 100 thousand people; big –from 100 thousand to 500 thousand people.

4 Data from sociological research: 1) «Strategy of socio-economic development of the Republic of Bashkortostan until 2030», 2015, sample size – 6264 people; 2) «Problems of socio-demographic and socio-economic development of the Republic of Bashkortostan», 2019, sample size – 1000 people. The sample in both surveys is probabilistic, stratified by type of locality and socio-economic zone of the Republic of Bashkortostan with quotas at the selection stage in the household by age, gender, nationality and level of education. The object of the study is the population over 18 years of age. The surveys were conducted using interviews at the respondents' place of residence. The survey is organized by the Institute for strategic studies of the Republic of Bashkortostan (in 2015 – jointly with the Bashkir branch of the Institute of sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences).

5 Calculated by the author based on: the Republic of Bashkortostan municipal districts of rural settlements’administrations data for 2015-2018. (were provided at the special request of the Institute for Strategic Studies of the Republic of Bashkortostan). Maps’s author – specialists of the Institute for strategic studies of the Republic of Bashkortostan I. Sagitov. Note: The author used the above data calculation method. It is especially relevant when analyzing indicators in the municipalities of Bashkortostan, since they are small territories, highly differentiated in terms of population (from 15 thousand to 99 thousand people). Calculations of data on average per year for a certain period made it possible to identify a situation close to objective in these territories.

6 Сalculated by the author based on: the Republic of Bashkortostan municipal districts of rural settlements’administrations data for 2015–2018.

7 Data from sociological research: «Internal labor migration of residents of villages and small towns of Bashkortostan: factors and consequences», 2018, sample size – 800 people (400 married couples).

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Table des illustrations

URL http://journals.openedition.org/eps/docannexe/image/12542/img-1.png
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Titre Figure 1. The structure of shift migrants by type of settlement, % of the respondents
Crédits Source: Data from sociological research: 1) «Strategy of socio-economic development of the Republic of Bashkortostan until 2030», 2015, sample size – 6264 people; 2) «Problems of socio-demographic and socio-economic development of the Republic of Bashkortostan», 2019, sample size – 1000 people.
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URL http://journals.openedition.org/eps/docannexe/image/12542/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 896k
Titre Figure 2. Responses of shift migrants on the frequency of communication with their wives and children during their shift work, % of the respondents
Légende Source: Data from sociological research: «Internal labor migration of residents of villages and small towns of Bashkortostan: factors and consequences», 2018, sample size – 800 people (400 married couples).
URL http://journals.openedition.org/eps/docannexe/image/12542/img-4.png
Fichier image/png, 26k
Titre Figure 3. Respondents' assessment of the extent of their participation in raising children, % of the respondents
Crédits Source: Data from sociological research: «Internal labor migration of residents of villages and small towns of Bashkortostan…».
URL http://journals.openedition.org/eps/docannexe/image/12542/img-5.png
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Titre 4.1. Mostly done by wife
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Titre 4.2. Mostly done by husband
URL http://journals.openedition.org/eps/docannexe/image/12542/img-7.png
Fichier image/png, 78k
Titre 4.3. Done by husband and wife together
Crédits Source: Data from sociological research: «Internal labor migration of residents of villages and small towns of Bashkortostan…».
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Fichier image/png, 78k
Titre Figure 5. Assessment by husbands and wives in shift migrants’ families the positive effects of shift employment, % of the respondents*
Légende *The sum of responses is more than 100%, because several answers were offered
Crédits Source: Data from sociological research: «Internal labor migration of residents of villages and small towns of Bashkortostan…».
URL http://journals.openedition.org/eps/docannexe/image/12542/img-9.png
Fichier image/png, 88k
Titre Figure 6. Assessment by husbands and wives in shift migrants’ families the negative effects of shift employment, % of the respondents
Légende *The sum of responses is more than 100%, because several answers were offered
Crédits Source: Data from sociological research: «Internal labor migration of residents of villages and small towns of Bashkortostan…».
URL http://journals.openedition.org/eps/docannexe/image/12542/img-10.png
Fichier image/png, 68k
Titre Figure 7. Distribution of answers to the question «If you have to choose between family well-being (strong marriage) and material well-being of the family (have enough money), what would you choose?», % of the respondents
Légende Source: Data from sociological research: «Internal labor migration of residents of villages and small towns of Bashkortostan…».
URL http://journals.openedition.org/eps/docannexe/image/12542/img-11.png
Fichier image/png, 35k
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Référence électronique

Guldar Akhmetova (Khilazheva), « The impact of shift migration on the intra-family life of residents of villages and small towns in Russia. On the example of the Republic of Bashkortostan »Espace populations sociétés [En ligne], 2022/1 | 2022, mis en ligne le 01 mars 2022, consulté le 19 mai 2022. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/eps/12542 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/eps.12542

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Auteur

Guldar Akhmetova (Khilazheva)

Candidate of Sciences (History),
leading researcher
of the Institute for strategic studies of
the Republic of Bashkortostan,
Ufa, 450008, Ufa, Kirov st., 15
hilazhevagf[at]isi-rb.ru

Scopus Author Id: 55489625300,
ORCID ID://orcid.org/0000-0001-9367-0246

Candidat en histoire,
Maître de recherche du Centre des études du développement social et de la formation du capital humain de l’Institut des recherches stratégiques de la République du Bachkortostan

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Espace Populations Sociétés est mis à disposition selon les termes de la licence Creative Commons Attribution - Pas d'Utilisation Commerciale - Pas de Modification 4.0 International.

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