Post-Socialist Mobility Cultures
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University College London
Submission date: 2021-11-30
Acceptance date: 2022-05-11
Publication date: 2022-12-12
Polish Sociological Review 2022;220(4):443-456
The concept of migration culture is sometimes used to suggest that migration became normalised in particular sending locations. It is helpful however to explore the cultural context of migration more thoroughly, investigating norms and beliefs about how to ‘do’ migration. I analyse why cultures change, and how this links to broader changes in society. In some respects post-2014 Ukrainian migration to Poland and, for example, Polish migration pre-2004 are strikingly similar, for example regarding informal networks, and migration to finance children’s higher education. To some extent Ukrainian migration can be labelled ‘post-socialist.’ I argue however that it is also shaped by the specific 21st century context, such as enhanced opportunities for communication between migrants and potential migrants on social media and in receiving countries, as well as Ukrainians’ encounters in Poland with Polish return migrants. Hence Ukrainian mobility discourses and practices have to be studied transnationally, not just locally.
This article is based on research conducted over more than twenty years and funded from different grants. I would particularly like to acknowledge British Academy funding (Small Grant SG-48522) for my book Polish Families and Migration since EU Accession and a NAWA Ulam Scholarship (BPN/ULM/2021/1/00036) which enabled me to spend the first six months of 2022 at the Centre for Migration Studies (CeBAM), Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, and to conduct fieldwork in Kalisz and Piła.
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