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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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Magdalena Ślusarczyk, Randi Wærdahl & Stella Strzemecka: Polish children and their parents adapting to a new school reality in Norway

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Magdalena Ślusarczyk, Randi Wærdahl & Stella Strzemecka

Polish children and their parents adapting to a new school reality in Norway

Abstract: When migrant children enter the educational system, they step into a world governed by a specific construction of social and political ideologies, reflecting the type of citizenship the nation wants to encourage. The character of school also applies to the way in which migrant children are met and included in the foreign country. In this chapter, we look at how Polish children and their parents adapt to the Norwegian school as an “idea” and as a “practice”. The formal missions and ideology of both Norwegian and Polish school systems show similar values and goals for education, yet their conceptualisations of education and traditions of pedagogy differ. We found that these differences are very much present in both parents’ and teachers’ ideas of education, and indeed influence educational practices. They are significant for how things are done at school, how teachers and parents perceive each other, how home-school collaboration is exercised, and how school is experienced by children. The main perceived differences are in relation to academic knowledge versus problem-solving skills, in authority structures, in the division of tasks and responsibilities in the home-school collaboration, and at the intersection of school life and home life. The process of adaptation of Polish children is not solely about learning the Norwegian language but it is also a question of learning complex norms and values of various social...

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