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”Dearest Little Wife”

The Gender Work of Polish Transnational Families in Past and Present

Marie Sandberg

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.