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Family and Mobility in Second Modernity: Polish Migrant Narratives of Individualization and Family Life

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Katherine Botterill



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


This paper re visits the individualization debate in the context of Polish migration to the UK. Drawing on empirical research with young Polish migrants in Scotland and Poland, I argue that as new opportunities for migration have shaped Polish family life, the family plays ideological, affective and practical roles in shaping and supporting young people’s mobilities. The pursuit of an apparently individualistic, mobile life in the context of post accession Polish mobility is confounded by the persistence of family structures and relations that underpin and shape individual decisions and mobility pathways. I discuss three ‘ruptures’ to the individualization thesis (Beck and Beck Gernsheim, 2001) that relate to the process of migration over the lifecourse: ‘moving out’, ‘keeping in touch’, and ‘coming back’. Through these discussions I argue that individual mobility is a relational process and one that can and should be analysed alongside family structures rather than separate from it.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Botterill K

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Sociology

Year: 2014

Volume: 48

Issue: 2

Pages: 233-250

Print publication date: 01/04/2014

Online publication date: 06/06/2013

Acceptance date: 01/12/2012

Date deposited: 01/08/2013

ISSN (print): 0038-0385

ISSN (electronic): 1469-8684

Publisher: Sage


DOI: 10.1177/0038038512474728


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