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  • Project contributors: McGhee D, Heath S, Trevena P,

    This Project is linked to the following Strand/s:

    Migration and Mobility

    Overview

    Objectives
    This qualitative study of central and eastern European migrants (primarily Polish) was carried out in four case study areas (two in England and two in Scotland). The objective was to provide a better understanding of patterns of household formation, intimacy and social networking amongst East and Central European migrant workers in the UK.

    Methods
    The project focused largely on patterns of household formation, change and dissolution amongst these migrant populations. A number of themes were investigated in interviews with Poles in the UK looking at, for example, the communication and networking practices of these migrant populations with friends and family who remain in Eastern and Central Europe. Also explored were the participants' experiences of migrating and the associated familial process; their employment biographies since being in the UK; their housing biographies since being in the UK; their impressions and experiences of living in the UK (for participants with children, their experiences of the British education system); and their plans for remaining in the UK or returning to Poland.

    Findings
    The study found that participants' settlement processes did not necessarily correspond with the public perception of Polish and other A8 migrants as being temporary or circular. The perceived quality of life and standards of living offered in the UK compared to Poland meant that participants felt that they could not return to Poland. In addition, there were a number of factors that contributed to participants' settlement in the UK, besides obvious ones such as employment/wage labour.

    For example, many participants were able to afford to rent their own apartment in the UK (and thus live independently of parents and in-laws). Another factor was the relationship between being able to afford a better standard of living in the UK in terms of accommodation, everyday expenses, and having access to many more free services and benefits for low-income families which are not available in Poland. The perceived differences in the education systems in the UK and Poland were another major reason for participants choosing to remain in the UK. However many parents of school-age children felt frustration at their inability to support their children's education due to lack of linguistic competence, and considerable variation was discovered across the four research sites in terms of the support available for integrating Polish children into British schools.

    Despite this, to a certain extent the participants were disconnected from their 'national' community of other Poles in the UK, and their lack of linguistic competence also restricted their engagement with British and other communities. The result being the participants could not fully integrate, and their support networks and social capital were also limited to a small select group of close friends and relatives in the UK.

    Publications & Activities

    Family matters: migration and childbearing decisions of 'new' Poles in the UK
    NORFACE Migration: Global Development, New Frontiers (2013). (University College London)
    Authors: Trevena P, McGhee D, Heath S,

    Normality and Abnormality in the Embedded Temporalities of Post-Accession Polish Migrants' Narratives
    6th Enquire Conference – Normality in an Uncertain World (2013). (University of Nottingham)
    Authors: McGhee D,

    Location, location? A critical examination of patterns and determinants of internal mobility among post –accession Polish immigrants in the UK
    BSPS 2013 (2013). (University of Swansea)
    Authors: Trevena P, McGhee D, Heath S,

    We stick to ourselves' – the interaction between social and human capitals amongst post-accession Poles in Southampton
    BSA (2013). (Grand Connaught Rooms, London, 3-5 April 2013 and at Council for European Studies, University of Amsterdam)
    Authors: McGhee D, Heath S, Trevena P,

    The domestic and housing transitions of Polish migrants in the UK
    New Agendas on Youth and Young Adulthood: Youth Studies Conference 2013 (2013). (University of Glasgow)
    Authors: Heath S,

    Trevena P, (2012) Mobility in Transition: Migration Patterns after EU enlargement
    Amsterdam University Press

    International labour mobility and its impact on family and household formation among Polish migrants living in England and Scotland
    Exploring Research Synergies Meeting (2012). (ESRC Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS), University of Oxford)
    Authors: McGhee D, Trevena P, Heath S,

    Polish migrants and schooling: experiences and perceptions of the English education system and migration decisions
    Southampton Education School (2012). (University of Southampton)
    Authors: Trevena P, Heath S, McGhee D,

    Polish migrants and schooling: experiences and perceptions of the English education system and migration decisions
    Centre of Migration Research (2012). (University of Warsaw, Poland)
    Authors: Trevena P, Heath S, McGhee D,

    Family matters: migration and childbearing decisions of 'new' Poles in the UK
    European Population Conference (2012). (Stockholm)
    Authors: Trevena P, Heath S, McGhee D,

    Family matters: migration and childbearing decisions of 'new' poles in the UK
    British Society for Population Studies Conference 2012 (2012). (University of Nottingham)
    Authors: Trevena P, Heath S, McGhee D,

    Family and household formation among Polish migrants living in England and Scotland
    Migration and Ageing in the Highlands, CRFR (2012). (UHI Millennium Institute, University of the Highlands and Islands)
    Authors: Trevena P,

    Polish migrants and schooling: the significance of experiences and perceptions of the British education system on migration decisions
    Centre of Migration Research Conference: Migration research in Poland - state of the art (2011). (CMR, Jachranka, Poland)
    Authors: Trevena P, Heath S, McGhee D,

    Divided by class, connected by work: Class divisions among the new wave of Polish migrants in the UK
    Studia Migracyjne - Przeglad Polonijny (2011). 1 71-96
    Authors: Trevena P,

    Polish migrants and schooling: the significance of experiences and perceptions of the English education system and migration decisions
    Research Matters invited seminar series (2011). (Anglia Ruskin University)
    Authors: Trevena P, Heath S, McGhee D,

    Brain waste as threat to identity? Highly-educated migrants in low-skilled jobs
    NORFACE Migration Network Conference, Migration: Economic Change, Social Challenge Conference (2011). (University College London)
    Authors: Trevena P,

    [Poster] Why do highly-educated migrants go for low-skilled jobs? A case study of Polish graduates working in London
    NORFACE Migration Network Conference, Migration: Economic Change, Social Challenge Conference (2011). (University College London)
    Authors: Trevena P,

    Should I Stay or should I Go?' - prolonged temporariness and ambivalent discourses of 'return' Amongst A8 Polish Migrants in the UK
    Migration: Economic Change, Social Challenge Conference (2011). (University College London)
    Authors: McGhee D, Heath S, Trevena P,

    Post-Accession Polish Migrants' Comparative assessments on Privation in Poland and the 'affordability of life 'in the UK – reflections on 'return' migration
    Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers (RGS-IBG) Annual Conference (2011). (London)
    Authors: McGhee D, Heath S, Trevena P,

    Polish migrants and schooling: the significance of experiences and perceptions of the British education system on migration decisions
    Children, families and the migration experience: opportunities and challenges Conference (2010). (Middlesex University, London)
    Authors: Trevena P, Heath S, McGhee D,

    Family-related considerations of the remigration decision of 'new' Polish migrants to the UK
    CRFR International Conference 2010, Changing Families in a Changing World (2010). (University of Edinburgh)
    Authors: Heath S, McGhee D, Trevena P,

    Polish migrants and schooling: the significance of experiences and perceptions of the British education system on migration decisions
    Migration and Family Conference (2010). (IRM, University of Basel, Switzerland)
    Authors: Trevena P, Heath S, McGhee D,

    Displaying connectedness: researching the transnational family practices of Polish migrant workers living in Scotland and England
    Turning Personal Conference (2009). (University of Manchester)
    Authors: Heath S,

    Displaying connectedness: researching the transnational family practices of Polish migrant workers living in Scotland and England
    'Turning Personal' conference (2009). (University of Manchester)
    Authors: Heath S, McGhee D, Trevena P,

    Media

    Immigration Nation: how tolerant is modern Britain Channel 4 News. 2013
    Part of a Channel 4 News discussion on immigration: "Immigration Nation: how tolerant is modern Britain"

    Immigration Nation: how tolerant is modern britain Channel 4 News website. 2013
    Online article on Channel 4 news "Immigration Nation: how tolerant is modern britain"