“It isn't the land that attaches a man to the village, it's the family [rodnye].
In the last decades of Imperial Russia, peasant migrants from all over Russia swelled the ranks of urban dwellers. Impelled by the increasing impoverishment of their villages and the hope of a steady wage, they poured into the cities, some to remain for months or years, others to stay for life. The number of male migrants always exceeded the number of female, although the proportion of women was growing steadily. Even so, the majority of men either remained single or left wives and children in the village.
Thus far, the attention of most social historians has focused on the migrant: his relation to the means of production; the extent to which his experiences in city and factory contributed to the transformation of his consciousness from peasant to proletarian. This approach has yielded rich scholarly results. But, with the exception of the work of Rose Glickman, that scholarship has addressed the peasant migrant almost exclusively as male and regarded his relation to his village primarily as an obstacle on the path to proletarianization.