national mobility, migrantpioneers are seldom drawn from the lowest
strata of the sending society. This is precisely the case for nearly all the
women pioneers in Alpinetown, who previously had been members of
the educated middle class in their formerly Soviet spaces.
Yet the incorporation of newly arrived immigrants in advanced econ-
omies usually takes place at the lowest rung of the receiving social hier-
archy, through the filling of positions defined as 3D: dirty, dangerous,
or demeaning.12 The women of Alpinetown were employed at the very
become precious public resources.
Since the very beginning, they discovered that migration both forced and
made it possible for them to be different women.
A striking feature of the group of migrantpioneers I studied is that all were
women. In the first wave of Eastern European migrants arriving in Alpine-
town, there was not a single man. The size of the group grew quickly,
with new migrants arriving every week, virtually all women. After four or
five years, when the number of women had already reached several hun-
dred, I counted no more than
and MacDonald (1964). It has
been explored and systematized by Douglas Massey’s pathbreaking analy-
ses of the dynamics of Mexican migration to the United States; see Massey
et al. (1990).
8. On the connections between migrating social networks and occupational
concentration in specific niches, see Tilly (2000) and Tilly and Brown
9. See Petersen (1958).
10. The arrival of pioneers does not automatically imply significant new waves
of arrivals. In fact, not all migrantpioneers trigger subsequent arrivals.
Even when they do, pioneers often filter