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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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Post-war internal migration in Poland – characteristics and contemporary consequences

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Abstract: The chapter focuses on post-war internal migration. Specificity of the process translated into long-term consequences, which are still present in various aspects of life in the post-migratory communities. In terms of demographics, the author points to e.g. increased spatial mobility among subsequent generations of inhabitants of these territories. In terms of society and culture, the chapter discusses issues related to the advancement of integration in these communities, focusing mainly on the subjective aspect to the process. Finally, the distinct attitudes and identities found among inhabitants of the Western and Northern Territories are discussed in the context of migration.

Keywords: post-war migration, social integration, local/regional identity, Western and Northern Territories

In Poland, internal migration has a long history and is characterized by diverse conditions and consequences as cross-border migration, which tends to be a much more frequent subject of sociological analyses. At the same time, internal migration remains – just like all manifestations of mobility – interrelated with socio-political transformations, which provide a context, a source of dynamics and directions for migration on the one hand, and which are influenced, to a various extent, by the specific nature of migration on the other.

In post-war history of Poland (i.e. after the Second World War, WWII), three major periods of intense internal migration can be distinguished. The first one is related to the process of populating the Western and Northern Territories, associated with post-war geopolitical transformations. Demarcation of new Polish borders led to intense, diversified...

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