YOUNG POLES IN LONDON. SOCIAL AND CULTURAL CONSEQUENCES OF EMIGRATION AFTER 1989
The following article is a result of research undertaken in London in the years 2002-2003. 28 In-depth interviews conducted with young Poles in London who left Poland after 1989 are the methodological basis of the research. The aim of the enquiry was to paint a sociological picture of the Polish emigrants of that period, to make an analysis of adaptation and also to construct a typology of emigrants taken into account the migration decision making process and adjusting strategies in the host country. In the first part, author dwells upon the problem of incomplete character of Polish migrations after 1989. The incomplete character of Polish migrations to Great Britain does not relate much to circular migratory movements - it has more to do with immigration policy of the host country. A tough British visa regime at the time impeded circulatory movements and legal situation of Poles didn't contribute to emigrant's integration with host society. Author then focuses on the problem with the integration of emigrants in their own ethnic group. Poles in London do not show any attempt to integrate on an institutional basis and do not create structures that help them to articulate their group interests. The social environment of the Polonia is not a reference for any integration model for these emigrants. In fact between them and the older generations of Polish emigrants the atmosphere is characterised by mutual misunderstanding rather than cooperation. The last part presents a typology of Polish emigrants. Taking into account the differences in the migration decision-taking process, life aspirations and adaptation strategies - three types of emigrants are being conceptualised.
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