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Changing Polish Identities

Post-War and Post-Accession Polish Migrants in Manchester


Agniezka Bielewska-Mensah

This book discusses how globalization transforms national identity, comparing the assertion that globalization disembeds national culture with contrasting claims that identities remain primarily anchored in national space. It examines the impact of mobility on identity and explores the role of virtual worlds in preserving national culture.
The investigation is based around a case study looking at two very different groups of Polish migrants in Manchester: those who settled in the city after the Second World War and those who arrived after Poland joined the European Union in 2004. A comparison of the two groups reveals a fascinating transformation in the process of identity formation, which has led to the clearly defined modern identity of the post-war migrants being replaced by a postmodern, multidimensional sense of self in the post-accession migrants.


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Appendix: List of Respondents


Nickname Age at the time of interview Sex POST-WAR MIGRANTS Individual Helena 70 female Joanna 76 female Alina 80 female Władka 80 female Paweł 63 male Karol 92 male Double Tolek & Weronika 88 & 80 male & female Emil & Lucyna 80 & 80 male & female Group interview Marek, Celina, Dorota, Zofia, Daria, Bolek, Grzegorz Over 70 3 males & 4 females POST-ACCESSION MIGRANTS Individual Monika 26 female Joanna 35 female Stefan 29 male Julia 21 female Agata 20 female Basia 22 female Jadwiga 22 female Karol 27 male Olek 25 male Kazik 30 male Inga 26 female Aneta 25 female Milena 25 female Magda 22 female Karina 28 female Marta 26 female Stenka 26 female Janka 25 female Olga 30 female Double interview Dagmara & Julita 26 & 20 female & female Group interview Milena, Olga, Sylwek, Klaudiusz, Blażej, Eliza Between 20 and 30 3 females and 3 males Appendix: List of Respondents 193 KEY PERSONS Barbara Goodwin Director of the Polish Saturday School Tadeusz Lesisz President of the Federation of Poles Andrzej Zuziak Priest in the Polish Parish of Divine Mercy Andrzej Son of Polish immigrants, trade union activist, post of fice worker Maria Worker at the Polish Care House ‘Dom Polski’ Maria Worker in the Polish shop, Robin Hood Street Marek Worker in a Polish travel agency

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