Polish Young Peoples’ Narratives: Impacts of\ud Living and Studying in the UK

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Janik, Michal ; Szewczyk, Margaret ; Mucha, Magda ; Westmancoat, Helen ; Lever, Viv ; Akhurst, Jacqueline ; Walmsley, Andreas (2014)
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Subject: HD28

Migration plays an important role in shaping contemporary society in the European Union (EU), with specific countries being affected differently. As a result of the most recent expansion of the EU in 2004, the United Kingdom (UK) has experienced an influx of economic migrants from former ‘Eastern Block’ countries, including many young people from Poland. This study explores the experiences of a group of nine young adults living, studying and working in the UK. Three of the nine participants were co-researchers in the participatory action research framework employed, equipping the researchers with the tools to undertake a narrative enquiry. The resultant metanarrative outlines emergent themes, illustrated by participants’ words. The themes include reasons for coming to and staying in the UK; first impressions of and changing opinions about life in the UK; the impact of visits to Poland and plans for the future. The data provide a unique developmental perspective of the changing experiences related to living in the UK, and give some insight into the life impacts of migration in contemporary Europe.
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