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Post-accession Polish migrants’ in London : transnational identities and changing settlement strategies.

Krawczyk, Ewa (2017) Post-accession Polish migrants’ in London : transnational identities and changing settlement strategies. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey.

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This thesis explores the networks, life courses and outlooks of Polish post-accession migrants in London. Aside from investigating both social and economic integration approaches, the thesis also examines migrants’ settlement strategies, highlighting their fluid and shifting character. The first two empirical chapters analyse respectively the economic and social aspects of Polish newcomers’ migration trajectories in London. They not only demonstrate what the key motivations for migration are (i.e. predominantly the financial pull-factor), but also depict migrants’ attempts to seek what they regard as a normal socio-emotional quality of life throughout their trajectories in London. This discussion also connects to notions of home and belonging as well as migrants’ views of where they would eventually intend to settle down, which the last two empirical chapters aim to illustrate. This research has been situated within the literature of post-war migration movements that explore the concepts of migrant community, ethnic diversity, cultural identity, hybridity, global economic mobility and finally transnationalism. The experiences of Polish post-accession migrants to Britain connect to many of these themes, particularly in relation to the ways migrants negotiate their economic aspirations, socio-cultural identity and belonging. The research itself consists of qualitative interviews with fifty-two Polish post-accession migrants to London and participant observations in a variety of social and community gatherings. This thesis contributes to the existing study on global economic mobility, transnational networks and liquid identity through exploring factors that affect migrants’ adaptation strategies into the socio-economic structures of the receiving society. Furthermore, my research advances the study of post-accession mobility involving Central and Eastern European migrants. While investigating the trajectories of Polish migrants living in London, I scrutinise the dynamic character of their migration motivations, occupational advancement as well as a powerful role of their networks (both local and transnational) on the evolvement of their identity and their changing plans for the future. The empirical findings of the study emphasize that the character of Polish post-accession mobility within the enlarged European Union goes far beyond a simple definition of economic migration. The complexity of socio-economic factors lying behind migrants’ narratives in Britain underlines the many challenges that they confront when competing for better work opportunities or attempting to establish their new social networks. Along with negotiating their status of foreign workers with a non-British socio-cultural background, Polish migrants develop their settlement strategies which are, to a degree, liquid and subject to their changing life priorities.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors :
Krawczyk, Ewa
Date : 30 November 2017
Funders : None
Contributors :
ContributionNameEmailORCID, Paul
Depositing User : Ewa Krawczyk
Date Deposited : 15 Dec 2017 09:11
Last Modified : 15 Dec 2017 09:11

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