From Diversity to Uniformity: The Different Forms of Polish Community in Manchester, UK

Agnieszka Bielewska


This chapter discusses how the processes of globalisation changed the understanding of Polish ethnic community functions among Polish migrants in England. The processes of globalisation resulted in many changes in the social world over the last 50 years. These changes shifted our understanding of many terms directly connected with migration such as place, space, mobility and the nature of the migration phenomenon itself (Cressswell, 2004, Grabowska-Lusińska and Okólski, 2009). The chapter will use the human geographic perspective to show how the changes in place perception shifted the nature of migration experience and impacted the migrants expectations toward their ethnic community. The theoretical analysis is supported by data from a case study carried out in Manchester, England between 2005 and 2009 on two groups of Polish immigrants: Poles who settled in the United Kingdom after the Second World War and immigrants who arrived there after Poland joined the European Union in May 2004. These two groups of Polish migrants are divided by a two generational age gap and present entirely different attitudes toward their national identity and the Polish ethnic community in Manchester. The migration from the new member states of the European Union to the United Kingdom is a phenomenon well recognised by the host society. The Polish migrants are well visible due to their numbers (according to Home Office (2010) between May 2004 and December 2009, 639,970 Poles were registered on the Worker Registration Scheme) and their constant presence in the media. However, the post-accession migrants are not the only group of Poles living in the United Kingdom. When they arrived there after May 1, 2004 they discovered in many English towns long established Polish communities. Those communities consisted of ex-combatants who stayed in the UK after the Second World War, along with their families. The new arrivals and the post-war migrants both are Poles, yet the Polish identities of both groups differed significantly. The two groups seem to understand and perform their Polishness in different ways. Analysing differences and similarities in those two groups’ approaches towards the ethnic community concept, I will present the changes in the national identity formation over the last fifty years.

Author Agnieszka Bielewska (Wydział Zamiejscowy we Wrocławiu)
Agnieszka Bielewska,,
- Wydział Zamiejscowy we Wrocławiu
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Book Boyd Scott H., Walter Mary Ann (eds.): Cultural Difference and Social Solidarity: Critical Cases, 2012, Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Abstract in PolishTekst zawiera 41621 znaków.
Languageen angielski
Cultural-Difference-Social-Solidarity-publication.pdf of 14-09-2015
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