2013 Fellows | June 20, 2013

SSRC Pre-Dissertation Fellow Nadina Anderson

Trust and Civil Society in Ukraine: Discovering Migration Mechanisms

Discipline: Sociology

University at Time of Fellowship: University of Arizona

Project Description:

Ukraine is one of the largest source regions for human trafficking in Eurasia and ranks fifth in the world for number of emigrants abroad, making it a very substantively interesting case for migration scholars. But why do Ukrainians leave? Do they want to leave or do they leave when faced with no better alternatives? In my past research I explored how attitudes towards leaving varied among young adults in Ukraine. In future research I hope to discover the mechanisms that prompt leaving; in particular, how the ability to leave and the desirability to leave combine and manifest in behavior. I anticipate that desire and ability vary independently. While ability is a necessary condition for leaving, desirability is not. For example, which Ukrainians migrate in spite of a strong desire to stay? Which desire to leave but stay anyway?

I would like to understand how individuals perceive their ability to leave and how perceived ability influences desire. I hypothesize that individuals use different information to construct perceptions of ability and desire. Perceived ability may stem from seeing a certain number of others successfully migrate or fail to migrate. Perceptions of desirability may stem from the strength and quality of the social ties experienced in the hometown and in the destination location. Together these perceptions tie some individuals firmly to their homes while scattering other individuals to the corners of the globe.

My past research suggests that individuals in Eastern Ukraine desire to leave more than individuals in Kyiv. In the summer of 2014 I will interview youth in Donetsk and Kyiv to see if my prior findings are accurate. I hope to conduct pilot research that will enable me to return to Ukraine to conduct a survey for my dissertation research.


Nadina Anderson is currently a research assistant for Professor Jane Zavisca, and has been a PhD student in Sociology at the University of Arizona since 2010. She graduated from Stanford University with a B.A. in Sociology in 2010. She has recently survived a Ukrainian winter and now loves hot pirozhki, fur hats, and freshly brewed tea.