Polish migrants: Integration strategies and settlement plans

Start date: 
Wed, 26/06/2013
Closing date: 
Wed, 26/06/2013
Cantor Building, Room 9234 (4 pm)
Event contact: 
Dr Tony Gore

Anne White - University of Bath

My presentation explores why increasing numbers of Poles seem to be settling in the UK (taking into account that “settlement” often implies an expectation of staying for an extended period, rather than a definite decision to live one’s whole life in the UK). In particular, the presentation examines two contrasting groups of Polish migrants, families with school-age children and “double returnees”. It explores why families where one parent originally worked alone in the UK are deciding to reunify abroad, and discusses the rather haphazard way in which many families gradually settle in England. The paper also considers the case of other types of migrant, people who originally worked in the UK temporarily but then returned to Poland and failed to re-integrate into the Polish labour market. As a result, they return abroad, this time sometimes with very definite integration strategies to facilitate settlement, such as re-training to move out of typical migrant jobs, or getting a mortgage.

Anne White researches and teaches the sociology and politics of Central and Eastern Europe, including Russia. Her current research focuses on migration, the topic of her fourth monograph, Polish Families and Migration since EU Accession (Policy Press, 2011). Her work employs a livelihood strategy approach, looking at how households in specific locations perceive the range of livelihoods available to them, and at the non-economic as well as economic motives which guide their decision-making. Her projects on migration have been based on interviews in both sending and receiving locations (Poland/England, provincial Russia/Moscow).

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