”Dearest Little Wife”

The Gender Work of Polish Transnational Families in Past and Present

Open access

Abstract

Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork among circular migrants from present-day Poland to Denmark and by revisiting the classic The Polish Peasant in Europe and America (1918-1920), the article brings together two examples of migration flows: the late 19th century outmigration from the then divided Poland to the U.S. and the present-day intra-EU circular migration between Poland and Denmark. The focus is on the gender work performed in transnational families as presented in the context of the mobility regimes in which the two different, yet related, transnational migration flows occur. By highlighting the historicity of migration flows through the lens of transmigrants’ gender work, the article argues that the transnational migration approach remains a key tool for investigating similarities and differences in migration between changing global historical conjunctures.

Andersen, DJ, Kramsch, OK &Sandberg, M 2015, ‘Inverting the telescope on borders that matter: conversations in Café Europa’, Journal of Contemporary European Studies, vol. 23, no. 4, pp. 459-476, DOI:10.1080/14782804.2015.1068164.

Arnholz, J &Andersen, SK 2016, Udenlandske virksomheder og udstationerede arbejdstagere i bygge-og anlægsbranchen, FAOS, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen.

Arnholz, J &Hansen, NW 2011, ‘Nye arbejdsmigranter på det danske arbejdsmarked’ in Insidere og outsidere: den danske models rækkevidde, ed TP Larsen, Djøf/Jurist- og Økonomforbundet, Copenhagen, pp. 109-132.

Basch, L, Glick Schiller, N &Szanton Blanc, C 1994, Nations unbound. Transnational projects, postcolonial predicaments, and deterritorialized nation-states. Gordon and Breach (Routledge), New York.

Bell, J &Pustułka, P 2017, ‘Multiple masculinities of Polish migrant men’, NORMA, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 127-143, DOI:10.1080/18902138.2017.1341677.

Blumer, H 1979/1939, An appraisal of Thomas and Znaniecki’s The Polish Peasant in Europe and America. Social Science Research Council, New York.

Burawoy, M, Blum, J, George, S, Gille, Z &Thaye, M 2001, Global ethnography: forces, connections, and imaginations in a postmodern world, University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles, CA.

Burrell, K 2009, Polish migration to the UK: after 2004, Ashgate, Farnham.

Conzen, K 1996, ‘Thomas and Znaniecki and the historiography of American immigration’, Journal of American Ethnic History, vol. 16, no. 1, pp. 16-21.

Danmarks Statistik 2016, ‘Indvandrere i Danmark 2016’. Available from: <http://www.dst.dk/Site/Dst/Udgivelser/GetPubFile.aspx?id=20704&sid=indv2016>. [Last accessed 20.01.2018].

Elliott, B, Gerber, DA &Sinke, SM (eds) 2006, Letters across borders: the epistolary practices of international migrants, Palgrave MacMillan, New York.

Fairchild, HP 1918, ‘The Polish peasant in Europe and America by William I. Thomas; Florian Znaniecki’, American Journal of Sociology, vol. 24, no. 3, pp. 331-332. Available from: <https://www.jstor.org/stable/2763713>.

Favell, A 2009, ‘Immigration, migration, and free movement in the making of Europe’, in European identity, eds JT Checkel &PJ Katzenstein, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 167-189.

Foucault, M 1977, ‘Nietzsche, genealogy, history’, in Language, counter-memory, practice: selected essays and interviews, ed DF Bouchard, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, pp. 139-164.

Glick Schiller, N 1999, ‘Transmigrants and nation-states: something old and something new in the U.S: immigrant experience’, in The handbook of international migration: the American experience, eds C Hirschman, P Kasinitz &J DeWind, Russell Sage, New York, pp. 94-119.

Glick Schiller, N 2015, ‘Explanatory frameworks in transnational migration studies: the missing multi-scalar global perspective’, Ethnic and Racial Studies, vol. 38, no. 13, pp. 2275-2282, DOI: 10.1080/01419870.2015.1058503.

Glick Schiller N, Basch, L &Blanc-Szanton, C 1992, ‘Transnationalism: a new analytical framework for understanding migration’, in Towards a transnational perspective on migration: race, class, ethnicity, and nationalism reconsidered, eds N Glick Schiller, L Basch &C Blanc Szanton, New York Academy of Sciences, New York, pp. 1-24, DOI:10.1111/j.1749-6632.1992.tb33484.x

Glick Schiller, N &Salazar NB 2013, ‘Regimes of mobility across the globe’, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, vol. 39, No. 2, pp. 183-200, DOI:10.1080/1369183X.2013.723253

Hannerz, U 1998, ‘Transnational research’, i n Handbook of methods in cultural anthropology, ed RH Bernard, AltaMira Press, Walnut Creek, CA, pp. 235-256.

Hvidt, K 1971, Flugten til Amerika, eller drivkræfter i masseudvandringen fra Danmark 1868-1914. Jysk Selskab for historie. Universitetsforlaget i Aarhus, Aarhus.

Interview 2011, 2012 by M Sandberg and NJ Nielsen. Translations from Polish made by Julia Zabowska.

Kofman, E 2004, ‘Family related migration: a critical review of European studies’, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, vol. 30, no. 2, pp. 243-262, DOI:10.1080/1369183042000200687

Körber, K &Merkel, I 2012, ‘Imagined families in mobile worlds: an introduction’, Ethnologia Europaea, vol. 42, no. 2, pp. 5-11.

Levitt, P 2001, The transnational villagers, University of California Press, Berkeley.

Nielsen, NJ &Sandberg, M 2014, ‘Between social dumping and social protection: the challenge of creating orderly working conditions among Polish circular migrants in the Copenhagen area, Denmark’, Ethnologia Europaea, vol. 44, no. 1, pp. 23-37.

Olwig, KF &Sørensen, NN 2001, Work and migration life and livelihoods in a globalizing world, Routledge Research in Transnationalism, London, New York.

Pessar, PR &Mahler SJ 2003, ‘Transnational migration: bringing gender’, The International Migration Review, vol. 37, no. 3, pp. 812-834.

Sandberg, M 2012, ‘Karol’s kingdom’. Commentary for special issue on ‘imagined families in Mobile worlds’, Ethnologia Europaea, vol. 42, no. 2, pp. 87-93.

Sandberg, M &Pijpers, R 2015, ‘Doing borderwork in workplaces: circular migration from Poland to Denmark and the Netherlands’, in Mobility and migration choices: thresholds to crossing borders, eds MVD Velde &TV Naerssen, Ashgate Border Regions Series, Surrey and Burlington.

Schlesinger, AM 1964, Paths to the present, Sentry Editions, Boston.

Sinatti, G 2008, ‘The Polish Peasant Revisited: Thomas and Znaniecki’s classic in the light of contemporary transnational migration theory’, Sociologica, vol. 2, pp. 1-22, DOI:10.2383/27725,hdl.handle.net/1765/40434.

Sinke, SM 2015, ‘Written forms of communication from immigrant letters to instant messaging’. in The Oxford handbook of immigration and ethnicity, ed RH Bayor, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 1-17.

Skrbis, Z 2008, ‘Transnational families: theorising migration, emotions and belonging’, Journal of Intercultural Studies, vol. 29, no. 3, pp. 231-246, DOI:10.1080/07256860802169188

Stauter-Halsted, K 2001, The Nation in the village: the genesis of peasant national identity in Austrian Poland 1848-1914, Cornell University Press, Ithaca &London.

Thomas, W &Znaniecki, F 1918-1920/1974, The Polish Peasant in Europe and America, Octagon Books, New York.

Triandafyllidou, A (ed.) 2013, Circular migration between Europe and its neighbourhood: choice or necessity? Oxford Scholarship Online. [Last accessed 10.09.2013].

Weeks, TR 1996, Nation and state in late imperial Russia: nationalism and russification on the Western frontier 1863-1914, Northern Illinois University Press, DeKalb.

Wimmer, A &Glick Schiller, N 2002, ‘Methodological nationalism and beyond: nation-state building, migration and the social sciences’, Global Networks, vol. 2, no. 4, pp. 301-334, DOI:10.1111/1471-0374.00043.

Zaretsky, E 1988, ‘Modernization theory and the family in Thomas and Znaniecki’s “The Polish Peasant in Europe and America”‘, Sociological Bulletin, vol. 37, no. 1, pp. 11-31. Available from: <https://www.jstor.org/stable/23619275>.

Journal Information

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 101 101 24
PDF Downloads 102 102 14