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Title: Mobility and encounters with difference : the impact of migrant experience on the circulation of values and attitudes
Author: Gawlewicz, Anna
ISNI:       0000 0004 5356 6729
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2014
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European societies have recently witnessed unprecedented rise in mobility, particularly along the East-West axis. In this context, the ability of individual migrants to make sense of and live with difference becomes a key issue for contemporary Europe. In response, this PhD thesis investigates the consequences of migrant encounters with difference in terms of ethnicity, religion, class, sexuality, gender, age and disability. It explores how migration from a postcommunist to a postcolonial state shapes people's values and attitudes towards difference as well as how, against this backdrop, understandings of difference circulate between migrants and their significant others in a sending society. As such, the study focuses on Polish post-2004 migrants in Leeds, UK and their family members and/or friends in Poland. The thesis is situated within geography and broader social science literatures on mobility/migration, geographies of encounter, whiteness, postcolonialism, the concept of postdependence, values and attitudes towards difference, prejudice, family as well as circulation of ideas. It draws on qualitative empirical material collected through multiple interviews, audio-diaries and supplementary survey conducted with migrant participants in Leeds, and single interviews with their significant others carried out in various locations in Poland. The thesis establishes that migrant encounters may result in development, revision or change of values and attitudes towards difference. This may involve a range of personal stances from rejection or strong negative prejudice, through admitting greater familiarity or understanding of difference, to acceptance, solidarity or engagement. Furthermore, the thesis demonstrates that newly developed, revised or changed values and attitudes are likely to be communicated to significant others in a sending society. This contributes to the cross-border circulation of values, attitudes, beliefs, discourses, language and practices, and may affect not only migrants', but also significant others' capacity to live with difference.
Supervisor: Valentine, Gill ; Wood, Nichola Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available