In: Was bleibt von Galizien? Kontinuitäten – Brüche – Perspektiven (= Wiener Galizien-Studien, Bd. 7), edited by D. Lushaj, J. Rozmus, and Y. Remestwenski. V&R unipress, 145–170.
This article is concerned with the question of how it is negotiated whether a person is – or not – eligible for help, support and care within the specific context of female labor migration from Western Ukraine. As will be shown, access to specific resources depends less on formal entitlements and criteria, than on moral views and beliefs about who actually deserves different forms of care. Decisions about the (un)deservingness of a person are established based on concurrently existing logics of legitimization, in which normative notions of reciprocity, kinship, gender, and personality/life course do play a crucial role. These factors determine decisively whether people in Western Ukraine live in secure or insecure environments, especially in old age. Taking as an example the case of Vasyl’, a man in his late sixties who himself claims to be needy, but is classified as undeserving by others, I suggest that not only negative reciprocity within different relationships of mutual support, but especially gendered constructions of care and need contribute significantly to the exclusion of (particularly single) men from these relationships. Thereby, the boundaries between kinship and the state, as well as according (moral) obligations are situationally reworked and (re)negotiated. Fatalism is evoked as a trope to justify the exclusion of some, so that disregard for the neediness of others can be portrayed as the individual failure of those that are excluded. This, in return, serves as a means for claiming inclusion to the „moral center“ of the local community by those denying others care and support which, somehow surprisingly, helps elderly women in considerably gaining power and authority within their communities.