Beyond 'us' and 'them': migrant encounters with difference and redefining the national

Gawlewicz, A. (2015) Beyond 'us' and 'them': migrant encounters with difference and redefining the national. Fennia, 193(2), pp. 198-211. (doi: 10.11143/46322)

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In an era of accelerated international mobility, individuals have increased opportunities to confront values, practices and discourses linked to their national belonging with lifestyles, cultural scripts and social norms of receiving societies. This paper discusses how migrants who move between a relatively homogeneous society (Poland) and a superdiverse one (the UK), negotiate ‘the national’ and ‘the foreign’ in orientalist binary oppositions. It explores how Polish migrants’ lived experience of difference in the UK context impacts on the construction of Poland. As such, it focuses on essentialist discourses of ‘inferiority’ and ‘superiority’ (of the UK to Poland and vice versa) that are mobilised while migrants negotiate what they believe are British values (i.e. tolerance and diversity) and Polish values (i.e. family). The article draws upon multiple interviews and audio-diaries from a wider study that explores Polish migrants’ encounters with difference and the circulation of values and attitudes between Poland and the UK.

Item Type:Articles (Other)
Keywords:Polish migrants in UK, nationalism, encounters, diversity, family values, multiple interviews and audio-diaries
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Gawlewicz, Dr Anna
Authors: Gawlewicz, A.
Subjects:G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HX Socialism. Communism. Anarchism
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Journal Name:Fennia
Publisher:Geographical Society of Finland
ISSN (Online):1798-5617
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2015 The Authors
First Published:First published in Fennia 193(2):198-211
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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