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Internal Migrations in Poland

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Edited By Łukasz Skoczylas and Elżbieta Smolarkiewicz

The aim of this book is to highlight the issue of internal migrations and emphasise the need to conduct research on their course and consequences, including those stemming from historical processes. The complexity of this topic is illustrated by the fact that the chapters contained in the book have been written by representatives of different disciplines: sociology, psychology, geography and economics, which may suggest the need for interdisciplinary research to be conducted in the future.

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Introduction

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Migration in its most general sense denotes a change of the place of residence/stay and refers to the inalienable need and right of an individual to freedom of movement. The contemporary world offers various forms of spatial mobility, their richness and intensity stemming partly from the development of new means of transportation in the 20th-century, which are often mentioned in discussions of the subject. The scale of this phenomenon is illustrated by migration statistics, which also point to its diverse causes, direction types and frequency. Due to the fairly popular trend of considering migration as one the effects of complex globalization processes, many researchers tend to focus on external (foreign) migration. This concerns particularly Poland with its long history of emigration.

As a result, one may get the impression that from a sociological perspective internal migrations have been a slightly neglected research topic. The issue of contemporary internal migrations is rarely the main subject of analysis in sociological literature; it is much more often discussed within the fields of demography, geography or economics. A significant number of sociological studies in which aspects of internal migrations play a major role are historical in nature. Focus is placed on contemporary effects of processes such as the post-war settlement in the Western and Northern Territories and building socialist cities related to the post-war development of industry or on issues of social memory. It is relatively more common for migrations to be discussed as something of a side note while...

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