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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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Margunn Bjørnholt & Kari Stefansen: On the move: Transnational family practices among Polish parents working and caring for children in Norway

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Margunn Bjørnholt & Kari Stefansen

On the move: Transnational family practices among Polish parents working and caring for children in Norway

Abstract: The paper draws on interviews with Polish parents of young children who have a salaried employment contract in Norway. Although settled in Norway, most of them still maintain many ties with their homeland and are on the move between the two countries, both physically and emotionally, comparing their life in Norway to Poland, enjoying services and entitlements from the Norwegian state as well as drawing on resources in Poland, such as informal care by grandmothers. The paper will discuss different transformations and changes that this group of transnational working parents is part of and how their transnational family practices may lead to changes in their country of immigration as well as their country of emigration.

Keywords: care, housing, transnational family practices, parenting

Introduction

The paper draws on qualitative interviews with Polish parents of young children who have settled in Norway and are in paid employment. The study is part of an ongoing Polish-Norwegian research project, the Effect1 study, funded by Norway Grants. Mobilities have emerged as an important topic in the study as the Polish work migrants interviewed are mobile in several forms, including geographically and socially. Although settled in Norway, most of them still maintain many ties with their homeland. They are on the move between the two countries, both physically and emotionally, comparing their life...

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