Ties that bind: immigrant social capital and adaptation among Moldavian foreign wives

The purpose of this MA thesis is to explore the pattern of social adaptation and integration among Moldavian migrant wives in the country of their spouse through the concept of social capital. The main focus of this thesis is to analyze how is migrant wives’ social capital mobilized in the process of social integration and for what dimentions of social adaptation is it utilezed. Taking in consideration the fact that marriage migration presupose an entrée into the native spouse social network of the immigrant society, migrant wives have the opportunity to utilize the husband social capital to advance her social integration and social position. By researching the topic of marriage migration of Moldavian women to Hungarian and Italian men in the last 20 years time framework, I argue that the migrant women’s ability to consolidate their own ambitions and aspirations with their husband’s social capital preconditions a higher social position in the immigrant society. Similarly to Coleman’s argument, in my study I will argue that the migrant women’s assimilation to the new society is facilitated mostly by strong ties within their spouse’s social network that opens a broader perspective of possibilities (Coleman, 1988). Empirical material from 14 semi- structured interviews with Moldavian female migrants in Hungary and Italy supports my argument. Overall, I aim to contribute to Moldavian reaserch on migration studies by bringing a gender dimension to the topic of marriage migration of Moldavian women and transnational family formation in the post-soviet Moldavian context.