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Abstract  

This article explores the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) migrants from Central and Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union in Scotland. Drawing on interviews with 50 migrants, the article focuses on the experiences and aspirations which they articulate as being part of ‘a normal life’, and analyses them within broader conceptual understandings of security and ‘normality’. We first examine how normality is equated with an improved economic position in Scotland, and look at the ways in which this engenders feelings of emotional security and well-being. We then explore how more positive experiences around sexuality and gender identity are key to a sense of emotional security – i.e. of feeling accepted as ‘normal’, being visible as an LGBT person but ‘blending in’ rather than standing out because of it. Finally we look at the ways in which the institutional framework in Scotland, in particular the presence of LGBT-affirmative legislation, is seen by participants to have a normalising effect within society, leading to a broader sense of inclusion and equality – found, again, to directly impact upon participants’ own feelings of security and emotional well-being. The article engages with literatures on migration and sexuality and provides an original contribution to both: through its focus upon sexuality, which remains unexplored in debates on ‘normality’ and migration in the UK; and by bringing a migration perspective to the debates in sexuality studies around the normalising effect of the law across Europe. By bringing these two perspectives together, we reveal the inter-relationship between sexuality and other key spheres of our participants’ lives in order to better understand their experiences of migration and settlement.

Abstract  

The aim of this article is to examine how family policies contribute to changes in family practices and towards gender equality in families. Empirically we draw on interviews with two groups of Polish-born parents: Polish parents who have migrated to Norway and Polish parents living in Poland. Norway and Poland are relevant cases for our exploration because they represent different types of welfare states, which have followed different paths towards their current family policy package. In our analysis of actual work–family adaptations we found a convergence towards gender-equal dual-earner/dual-carer arrangements in both groups, although there were differences in the level of agency. Polish parents in Poland felt less entitled to use the measures available to them, and sometimes refrained from using them, compared to Polish parents in Norway who expressed a strong sense of agency in using family policy measures to create a good life in Norway and as part of a project of change towards more gender-equal sharing of work and care responsibilities. The analysis confirms the strong link between family practices and family policies, but also illustrates how the effect of policies on practices may be hampered or boosted by the wider historical-cultural context of the society in question. In conclusion, in analyses of the link between policy and practice it may be fruitful to distinguish between family policy packages – the concrete set of entitlements for working parents – and family policy regimes, meaning policies in their wider context, including migrancy as a mediating factor.

Abstract  

This article discusses the professional careers of foreign scholars in Krakow, one of the leading academic centres in Poland and a regional ‘silicon valley’ (toutes proportions gardées). Central and Eastern Europe is understudied as an immigration region for highly skilled migrants (HSMs). To bridge this gap, we concentrate on three interrelated topics: (a) the perception of Polish science and its infrastructure; (b) careers of international staff employed in Polish academia; and (c) their perception of their achievements in Poland. Foreign scholars come to Poland for various reasons. Two of the most important are the cultural proximity between Poland and their country of origin, and research interests focused directly in Poland. Our findings show that Poland attracts first and foremost scholars with average scientific achievements. We discuss major problems they encounter (e.g., shortage of funds, uncomfortable office space, restricted access to books and papers) and their expectations of life in a semi-periphery country. The paper is mainly based on in-depth interviews with 23 foreign scholars working full time at four universities in Krakow and, as a secondary source, on the analysis of websites of these universities.

Abstract  

Workplaces have become increasingly diverse as a result of migration and other socio-economic changes in Europe. In the light of post-2004 migration, many Polish migrants find themselves in workplaces where multiculture is an everyday lived experience. By drawing on narrative interviews conducted with Polish migrant women in Manchester and Barcelona, this paper focuses on the complexities of interaction with other ethnic groups at work, demonstrating various forms of conviviality. The study reveals more and less meaningful forms of contact at work including workplace friendships, light-hearted forms of conviviality characterised by the interplay of language and humour, relations based on care and respect for difference, as well as forced encounters marked by superficial and involuntary interaction. The findings show that while workplace can be a place of meaningful interaction, it can also involve conflict and tensions. The narratives illustrate that workplace relations can be influenced by the dynamics of gender, race, ethnicity, socio-economic circumstances and immigration discourses. The paper contributes analytically and empirically to the understanding of different forms of encounters in the workplace.

Abstract  

This paper examines migratory movements into Poland with a special emphasis on refugee mobility. In the past twenty years, almost 90 000 Chechen refugees have come to Poland, as it was the first safe country they reached. According to the Office for Foreigners data they constituted approximately 90 per cent of applicants for refugee status, 38 per cent of persons granted refugee status, 90 per cent of persons granted ‘tolerated status’ and 93 per cent of persons granted ‘subsidiary protection status’. However, a peculiarity of the Polish situation, confirmed by official statistics and research, is that refugees treat Poland mainly as a transit country. The author focuses on the issue of integrating Chechen refugee children into the Polish education system, as well as Chechen children granted international protection or waiting to be granted such protection. The results of the study suggest that Polish immigration policy has no impact on the choice of destination of the refugees that were interviewed. None of the interviewees wanted to return to Chechnya, nor did they perceive Poland as a destination country. Children with refugee status, which enables them to stay legally in the Schengen area, ‘disappear’ not only from the Polish educational system but from Poland as a whole as well. This phenomenon hampers the possibility of achieving educational success when working with foreign children, and it challenges the immense efforts by Polish institutions to integrate refugee children into the school and the local community. Both official statistical data and research results were used in this paper.

Abstract  

The article applies the concept of anchoring, defined as the process of searching for footholds and points of reference which allows individuals to acquire socio-psychological stability and security and function effectively in a new environment, to explore complex, multidimensional and flexible adaptation and settlement processes among migrants from Ukraine in Poland. Based on 40 in-depth interviews and questionnaires with migrants resident in Warsaw and its vicinity, we argue that the traditional categories employed for analysing migrants’ adaptation and settlement such as 'integration' or 'assimilation' are not always adequate to capture the way of functioning and experience of contemporary Ukrainian migrants. Rather than traditional categories, we propose to apply the concept of anchoring which enables us to capture Ukrainians’ 'fluid' migration, drifting lives and complex identities as well as mechanisms of settling down in terms of searching for relative stability rather than putting down roots. The paper discusses the ambiguous position of Ukrainian migrants in Poland constructed as neither the strangers nor the same, gives insight into their drifting lives and illuminates ways of coping with temporariness and establishing anchors providing migrants with a sense of stability and security. This approach, linking identity, security and incorporation, emphasises, on the one hand, the psychological and emotional aspects of establishing new footholds and, on the other hand, tangible anchors and structural constraints. Its added value lies in the fact that it allows for complexity, simultaneity and changeability of anchoring and the reverse processes of un-anchoring to be included.

Abstract  

The Return Directive allows for the detention of minors during removal proceedings, but only as a ‘last resort’, for ‘the shortest appropriate period of time’ and with the primary consideration of the ‘best interests of the child’. While the Directive attempted to provide some safeguards to minors, these are undermined throughout, as the enforcement of such provisions depends significantly on their incorporation into domestic law. I provide an overview of the EU detention policy, map the existing domestic law framework in light of the benchmarks set out by the Directive and human rights instruments, and argue that there is a lack of consistency in the case study of Poland. In doing so, I analyse the limitations to detaining minors in light of the human rights treaties, of the jurisprudence of the Court of Justice of the European Union and the European Court of Human Rights, and of the role of the monitoring body – the Committee on the Rights of the Child. In discussing the different types of jurisprudence, I illustrate how different bodies speak with the same voice on the detention of minors. Based on these findings I attempt to contribute to the policy debate on how to reconcile and balance the implications of two policy objectives affecting irregular migrant children - the protection of minors and immigration enforcement. I identify detention policy aspects, for which the legislation should be further harmonised, and I develop models of good practices based on other Member States’ practices, thus providing a set of policy recommendations to the Polish legislator as to what fair and effective irregular migration governance might entail.