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Abstract  

To date, the literature on gender and migration continues a longstanding bias towards female over male experiences. Similarly, research on Polish post-EU accession emigration has not sufficiently addressed the male experiences of migration. Drawing on 20 interviews with migrant men, this paper contributes to the existing research on the variety of masculinity practices and gendered migration from the Central and Eastern Europe. In so doing, it focuses on the relationship between masculinity, religion and migration in the context of migration from Poland to the UK. While religion is also rarely addressed in discussions on the post-EU accession migration of Poles, it proves to be important in shaping world views and influencing migrants’ positionalities in the new social context. Indeed, in migrants’ narratives, gender, religion and the nation intertwine with one another. Analysis shows how certain aspects of men’s social identities that were originally assets turn into burdens and how the men reach to religion, while distance from the institutional Church, to renegotiate their new positionality in order to avoid denigration or to support social recognition – which is especially important in the social reality shaped by Brexit.

Abstract  

This article is devoted to contemporary return migrations by Kazakhs – a process of great significance for the population and cultural policies of the government of independent Kazakhstan. I examine the repatriation process of the Kazakh population from the point of view of the cultural transformations of Kazakh society itself, unveiling the intended and unintended effects of these return migrations. The case of the Kazakh returns is a historically unique phenomenon, yet it provides data permitting the formulation of broader generalisations. It illustrates the dual impact of culturally different environments, which leads to a simultaneous preserving and changing of the culture of the new immigrants. The analyses found in this article are based upon data collected during two periods of fieldwork conducted in June–July 2016 and March 2018 at several locations in Kazakhstan and in cooperation with a Kazakh university. The research methodology is anchored in multi-sited, multi-year fieldwork.