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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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Eugene Guribye, Paula Pustułka, Magdalena Ślusarczyk & Barbara Zyzak: Left to their own devices? On the role of Polish migrant organisations in Norway

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Eugene Guribye, Paula Pustułka, Magdalena Ślusarczyk & Barbara Zyzak

Left to their own devices? On the role of Polish migrant organisations in Norway

Abstract: This chapter examines the role of Polish organisations in the social lives of Polish families in Norway by employing a critical perspective that acknowledges the importance of state involvement in relation to social capital. Discrepancies between Norway and Poland in relation to trust and civic participation as central facets of social capital are analysed in relation to state policies. Furthermore, based on the stories of Polish migrants in Norway interviewed for WP2 and WP3 studies of the Transfam project, we investigate the roles of Polish migrant organisations and religious institutions in relation to the social integration of Poles in Norway. The study suggests that low levels of trust and civic participation among Poles has not seemed to change in the context of settling in Norway, a country with high trust and civic participation. We argue that the lack of a comprehensive integration strategy for labour migrants in Norway, combined with a relatively short settlement time, contributes to limit the potential of these organisations in relation to the creating bridging and linking social capital and improve the social integration of Poles in the country.

Key words: migrant organisations, social capital, trust, civic participation, Poles in Norway

Introduction

Across the past few decades, we have seen an increasing focus on the role of the civil society for...

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