Mobile Lives, Immobile Realms?

Female Mobility Between Poland and Norway

Poland’s accession to the European Union in May 2004 has led to the largest emigration flows in the country’s postwar history. Post-accession Polish migration--characterized by heterogeneous migration flows (unskilled and semi-skilled migrants, students and recent college graduates seeking short-time employment, young professionals wishing to start a new career or set up their own business, and intergenerational families), high levels of mobility (transnational and circular migration), and variegated settlement patterns--have had a significant impact on how migration is theorized, researched, and understood. Novel thinking about Polish migration notwithstanding, there is a dearth of anthropological research on migration of Polish women, particularly in relation to decision-making processes about permanent or temporary settlement, circular migration or return to Poland. Little is known about how employment and educational experiences of Polish women, their partners, and children affect the families’ migration trajectories. With few exceptions, much of what has been written about contemporary Polish migration focused on Poles in the United Kingdom and Ireland. There is a need to understand migration experiences of Polish women and their families in new destination countries. Women constitute 26 percent of Polish migrants in Oslo and yet most scholarship focuses on low-wage employment of Polish men in Norway.

Dr. Elżbieta M. Goździak is collaborating with colleagues at the Centre for Migration Studies (CeBaM) at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, on a 3-year research on contemporary female mobility between Poland and Norway. The project explores social and cultural issues of Polish-Norwegian relations such as increased feminization of migration between Poland and Norway; the role of Polish female migrants in the Norwegian labor market; relations between migratory career paths, educational training and labor markets; social cohesion; and the impact of female migration on children, families and households in Poland and in Norway.

The project was funded by the Polish National Science Centre (Harmonia). The project blog can be found here and the Facebook page is here