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Transnational Polish Families in Norway

Social Capital, Integration, Institutions and Care

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Edited By Krystyna Slany, Magdalena Slusarczyk, Paula Pustulka and Eugene Guribye

This book provides timely insights into the lives of Polish migrants who have been settling in Norway with their partners and children, especially over the last decade. It brings together Polish and Norwegian scholars who shed light on the key areas of migrant family practices in the transnational space. The contributors critically assess social capital of those living mobile lives, discuss the role of institutions, as well as engage with the broad problematics of caring – both with regard to migrant children raised in Norway, and the elderly kin members left behind in Poland. Further, the authors tackle the question of the possibilities and constrains of integration, pointing to several areas of policy implications of transnationalism for both Poland and Norway.

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Paula Pustułka, Ewa Krzaklewska & Lihong Huang: Childbearing behaviours of Polish migrants in Norway

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Paula Pustułka, Ewa Krzaklewska & Lihong Huang

Childbearing behaviours of Polish migrants in Norway

Abstract: The chapter explores the aspects of childbearing, procreation plans and fertility among Polish migrant couples and families settled in Norway. It tackles the migration-fertility nexus by engaging with five hypotheses put forward by Milewski (2007) and sheds light on childbearing decision and the germane topics linked to fertility in the Polish-Norwegian transnationality. Through an integrated analysis of the quantitative and qualitative data, the chapter explores the links between mobility and a desire (and lack thereof) to have children, as well as the reasons for having more children. It outlines some issues around the timing of a first-time-parenthood and having subsequent children abroad, seeing them through a migration lens, i.e. experienced in a distinctively different cultural setting of Norway. The empirical material is guided by a mixed-methods approach and combines two datasets from the Transfam project: the quantitative data collected through an on-line survey (n=648) and the qualitative material from biographic interviews. The results confirm the hypothesis of a one-spouse migration being disruptive to fertility, while also pointing to the catching-up fertility behaviours. We argue that an interrelation of family biographic events, and a fulfilment of the family’s procreation desires, occur after the reunification and settlement in Norway.

Key words: migration, fertility, childbearing, Norway, Polish migrants

Introduction

The area of research on the reproduction/fertility issues is located at the junction of the personal and...

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