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Title: Socio-legal integration of Polish post-2004 EU enlargement migrants in the United Kingdom
Author: Kubal, Agnieszka Maria
ISNI:       0000 0001 4011 1803
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2011
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After the Enlargement of the European Union in 2004, around a million Accession State migrants arrived in the United Kingdom, with Polish migrants constituting the largest group. There is a growing body of literature focusing on their migratory patterns, networks, labour market performance, and identity. However, little has been said so far about the Polish migrants' relationship with law in the United Kingdom. This thesis asks: how do the Polish post-2004 EU Enlargement migrants form their relationship with the law, and what are the factors that affect this? It focuses on the intricacies of migrants' choices of `semi-legal' over legal status, subsequent legalization strategies, and the interpretations of legality they result in. Socio-legal integration has so far been viewed solely via state legal frameworks, following the traditional approach of the `law-first' perspective. This thesis argues that it is not the institutional arrangements and legal architecture alone that decide the nature of migrants' semi-legal relationship with law in the host society. A more comprehensive insight into the socio-legal integration of migrants is possible only when we combine in the analysis the interplay between the structural factors of the host country's legal environment, migrants' agency and the culturally derived values, attitudes, behaviour and social expectations towards the law and its enforcement. The thesis therefore makes a case for a `proper' recognition of migrants' legal culture in the study of their socio-legal integration. The thesis concludes that semi-legality, as an initial response to the legal environment is not static, but changing. As a result, migrants' socio-legal integration is extended in time and gradual. Migrants' legality could be discussed at two levels - at the behavioural level and at the level of a value. Changing status between the two poles of legality and illegality brings with it greater appreciation of legality as a value. This research presents a strong argument that the relationship between behaviour and attitudes to law could be meaningfully investigated in an applied domain of the new socio-legal environment.
Supervisor: Kurkchiyan, Marina Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Social Sciences ; Social anthropology ; Transnationalism ; Migration ; Integration ; Law ; EU Law ; European Law ; Socio-legal studies ; Social justice ; Ethnic minorities and ethnicity ; Polish ; migration ; EU enlargement ; socio-legal ; integration