Becoming Polish In London: negotiating ethnicity through migration

Ryan, Louise (2010) Becoming Polish In London: negotiating ethnicity through migration. Social Identities, 16 (3). pp. 359-376. ISSN 1350-4630

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Abstract

This paper explores how migrants negotiate and construct their identity in London. In particular it discusses how they position themselves in relation to other ethnic groups - English people and other migrant and ethnic minority groups within British society. The discussion draws upon qualitative research with recent Polish migrants in London. In addition to key informants from a range of community and voluntary groups, 3 focus groups and 30 individual interviews were carried out with migrants across various locations in the city. Participants were drawn from a range of occupations and included equal numbers of men and women. Rather than attempting to select a representative sample, the research sought to capture the range and diversity of Polish migrants. The paper examines how ethnic identity is mediated through language, gender, whiteness and European-ness. Using Goffman's concepts of 'normality' and 'stigma' the paper also discusses the ways in which participants engage with Polishness through multifaceted and complex interactions with or, indeed, avoidance of 'Poles abroad'.

Item Type:Article
Research Areas:Middlesex University Schools and Centres > School of Law > Social Policy Research Centre
ID Code:6341
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Deposited On:03 Aug 2010 09:10
Last Modified:06 Feb 2013 12:22

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