Transnational Mobility and Socio-cultural Remittances

The Case of Polish Women in Norway and Poland

in Ethnologia Europaea
Author:
Elżbieta M. Goździak Adam Mickiewicz University

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Izabella Main Adam Mickiewicz University imain@amu.edu.pl

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Research on skilled migrants often focuses on the negative effects of migration on sending countries. Discussions of positive results are limited to monetary remittances. Using ethnographic data, we explore the impact of mobility on the creation of new opportunities in Poland. We argue that Polish women bring back, not only financial resources, but also socio-cultural remittances that allow them to establish new businesses, pursue novel employment opportunities, and gain new perceptions of gender roles and equality. We depart from the conceptualization of labor migration, which emphasizes the dichotomy between sending and receiving countries, the pervasive nature of national borders that separate labor migrants from origin countries, and the ubiquitous financial gains. Instead, we focus on socio-cultural remittances that are deployed in transnational spaces. 

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