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Transnational Polish Families in Norway

Social Capital, Integration, Institutions and Care


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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Joanna Bielecka-Prus, Elżbieta Czapka & Zofia Kawczyńska-Butrym: The dilemmas of transnational care. The case of Polish immigrants in Norway


Joanna Bielecka-Prus, Elżbieta Czapka & Zofia Kawczyńska-Butrym

The dilemmas of transnational care. The case of Polish immigrants in Norway

Abstract: Globalisation and the dominance of neo-liberal economics as well as the crisis of the welfare state have a significant impact on the care of children and the elderly. Increasingly, it is the family and its own resources that are the main actor in the provision of care services, and the caregiving function is most frequently exercised by women: mothers and daughters. In the case of migration, they need to develop strategies to reconcile the role of a carer with the role of a working migrant. This is due to the necessity of reconciling one’s own ideas regarding the role of a carer, the expectations of the family members, which are often significantly different, but also social perceptions of the role of a mother or daughter. This article discusses the dilemmas that migrant women and their families need to address in the scale of micro-social relationships, but also alternative ways to represent social expectations of the role of a carer. The analytic material comprises of interviews with Polish migrant women in Norway, members of their families (children and their carers) as well as social workers and teachers.

Key words: female migration, transnational family, transnational care

Care in the context of international migration

Caregiving is a fundamental practice resulting from the biological and developmental needs of individuals, which is particularly...

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