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Title: Between continuity and change : narratives of Polish migrants in Belfast
Author: Bell , Justyna Katarzyna
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2013
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On 1st May 2004, Poland- along with nine other countries- joined the European Union. Three of the existing members- the UK, Ireland and Sweden- granted unrestricted employment and residence rights to the nationals of the new member states immediately after accession. What followed was the largest movement of people in Europe since the Second World War. Belfast, Northern Ireland,- which up until then had small levels of inward migration from abroad and certainly very few migrants from Poland- experienced a large in-flow of Polish migrants in a very short space of time. All of this made the city a unique research setting for this study. The thesis 'Between continuity and change- Narratives of Polish migrants in Belfast provides an insight into migrants biographical developments as experienced in their day-to-day interactions, examined within the theoretical framework of interpretative sociology. As it is argued in th is thesis, biographies equip individuals with a frame of orientation in their changing milieux and become an arena for the continuous renegotiation of the meaning of self, their life-worlds and those of other people. Deriving from twenty seven biographical narrative interviews with Polish post-accession migrants in Belfast, this thesis displays the complexities of migrants' transnational social practices, suggesting that, at times, these practices add to the widening of the gap between 'here' and 'the re', that can trigger a Slate of non-belonging and result in a slow course of divergence between migrants and their relatives and friends in the homeland. By analysing the 'personal communities' formed by migrants in the migration context, this thesis also contributes some alternative interpretations of the common- in recent literature on Polish migration- statements on in-group distrust and rivalry amongst Polish co-nationals abroad. This study additionally outlines the differences in the development of the above processes amongst migrants in different occupational groups in Northern Ireland.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available