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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Faculty of Life Sciences - Resource Economics

Dissertation of Carlotta von Bock und Polach, 2010

Relevance of Social Capital and Social Networks for Temporary Migration of Polish Seasonal Labour – The case of asparagus farms in Brandenburg (Germany)

Start: 2005
Ende 2010

Characteristics of agricultural seasonal labour are short and intensive intervals of work during harvest time. Particularly asparagus farming and harvesting is dependent on manpower as technical equipment is less developed or very costly. First, during harvest time between April and June a high demand of manpower can be recognised. Second, most of the seasonal harvesters are originated from the Middle and Eastern European Countries, most of them are polish. The project investigates from an actorbased perspective the phenomena of temporary migration of polish seasonal workers contributing to the asparagus farming in Germany, especially in Brandenburg. As the actors are centralistic for this approach, we ask about the relevance of social capital and in which way social network relationships contribute to the decision of migrants either to work in Germany or not and even more important to repeat this type of work each year again on the same farm. Hence, the survey focus on determinates and causes for the persistency of temporary migration and there formal and informal rules. Moreover actor´s constellation, transactions of resources between involved actors as well as network structure are of great importance to explain the observed phenomena. Empirical data was collected in Brandenburg and Poland The applied methodology is a three-stage qualitative process with the qualitative network analysis as core method.

Researcher: von Bock und Polach, Carlotta

Advisor: Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Konrad Hagedorn

Funding: Scholarship 2006-2009 Friedrich-Naumann-Stfitung für die Freiheit (FNF) Scholarship 2009 Frauenförderung, LGF HU Berlin

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