Article

Only a mouse click away from home: transnational practices of Eastern European migrants in the United Kingdom

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Abstract

In May 2004 the European Union was enlarged by ten new member states, eight of these were countries from the former Communist bloc. Between May 2004 and May 2006 the citizens of so-called EU8 countries (Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovak Republic and Slovenia) enjoyed full worker mobility in only three ‘old’ EU member states, the Republic of Ireland, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Following EU enlargement, migrant workers from EU8 countries as well as their dependants have been arriving in the United Kingdom. In December 2007 almost 800,000 workers from EU8 countries were registered on the government's worker registration scheme. This article is concerned with the transnational practices of migrants from EU8 countries who have arrived in the UK following EU enlargement, in particular with everyday transnational practices that involve the use of a variety of media. The experiences of transnational migrants involve connections between former and new (sometimes temporary) homelands. The role of media, in particular satellite television, has been studied in a transnational context. However, satellite broadcasting has not been embraced by migrants from EU8 countries to any extent, rather they rely on a range of media and practices that enable them to be connected to two or more national contexts. Migrants interviewed for this research have proved to be avid and highly skilled users of digital media in particular, they access newspapers, magazines and films online, use Skype to make calls, post photographs on social networking sites and even check online images of their home towns in Eastern Europe on a daily basis. The article explores the implications of these transnational practices in relation to migrants' identities and belonging as well as political participation. The data analyzed in the article was collected in in-depth qualitative interviews with 20 recently (post-May 2004) arrived migrants from EU8 countries in London, Edinburgh and Newcastle. The interviews were conducted in winter 2006 and summer 2007.

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... There are also studies on wider aspects of interpersonal communication, including peer and community relationships maintained by migrants using advanced communications technologies. Metyková (2010) states that technologically competent migrants flexibly adopt a variety of interpersonal communications technologies, including video conferencing and multimedia-sharing applications, while Collins (2009) focuses more specifically on the uses of social-networking sites by sojourner students in maintaining and developing transnational friendships. ...
... As noted in various studies on the relationships between mass media and immigrants' daily lives, many people who live outside their home countries still actively consume mass media content produced at home (e.g., Christiansen, 2004;Mayer, 2003;Sun, 2005), online home-country media (Yin, 2013), or ethnic media in the host countries (e.g., Lin, Song, & Ball-Rokeach, 2010). According to Metyková (2010), young migrants who are accustomed to Internet technology tend to maintain the patterns of media consumption they formed in their countries of origin. While studies on interpersonal communications in transnational settings pay more attention to relationship maintenance and psychological consequences, those on transnational media use tend to stress the influences of media on identity formation, questioning whether migrated subjects maintain their ethnic identities or acculturate to their new communities (e.g., Wang & Quan, 2013). ...
... Although living in the United States and attending American high schools, their afterschool hours were filled with activities related to their old communities in Korea, which were mediated through the Internet. Like the young Eastern European migrants in the United Kingdom that Metyková (2010) discussed in her study, the unaccompanied Korean adolescents also maintained their routine patterns of media consumption and interpersonal communication, which were formed before they came to the United States. ...
Article
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Seeking to understand the wide use of the Internet as a transnational communications technology, this qualitative study inquired into the Internet use of unaccompanied Korean adolescents. Grounded in the findings of the adolescents’ living contexts, this study set a basic question: How do the transnational online communication practices of unaccompanied adolescents shape and reflect their transnational lives? Spending a tremendous amount of time in their rooms at host homes due to their limited social relationships in the United States, they intensively consumed Korean media content via the Internet. They also made efforts to maintain interpersonal relationships with people in Korea by utilizing multiple online technologies. This study found that technological availability, cultural sensibility, and healthy peer community were important contexts of the adolescents’ transnational online communication.
... Although the concept of normality was not originally applied to migration studies, it has been recently argued to be a useful tool to reflect on the complexities of mobility/migrant experience as well as the negotiation of identity in a 'new' place (Rabikowska 2010a; Ryan 2010a). Metykova (2010) and Rabikowska (2010b), for example, investigate the processes of re-establishing normality after the experience of international mobility to Britain. Both authors argue that many of their research participants consider migration as a significant as well as disruptive life change. ...
... This is reflected in recent migration studies. Metykova (2010), for instance, quoted earlier in this section, suggests that the usage of various online media among the post-2004 Eastern European migrants to the UK allows them to sustain close Internet contact with their respective home countries as well as relatives. This, as I stressed before, contributes to the gradual establishment of normality after the disruptive experience of migration. ...
Thesis
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European societies have recently witnessed unprecedented rise in mobility, particularly along the East-West axis. In this context, the ability of individual migrants to make sense of and live with difference becomes a key issue for contemporary Europe. In response, this PhD thesis investigates the consequences of migrant encounters with difference in terms of ethnicity, religion, class, sexuality, gender, age and disability. It explores how migration from a postcommunist to a postcolonial state shapes people’s values and attitudes towards difference as well as how, against this backdrop, understandings of difference circulate between migrants and their significant others in a sending society. As such, the study focuses on Polish post-2004 migrants in Leeds, UK and their family members and/or friends in Poland. The thesis is situated within geography and broader social science literatures on mobility/migration, geographies of encounter, whiteness, postcolonialism, the concept of postdependence, values and attitudes towards difference, prejudice, family as well as circulation of ideas. It draws on qualitative empirical material collected through multiple interviews, audio-diaries and supplementary survey conducted with migrant participants in Leeds, and single interviews with their significant others carried out in various locations in Poland. The thesis establishes that migrant encounters may result in development, revision or change of values and attitudes towards difference. This may involve a range of personal stances from rejection or strong negative prejudice, through admitting greater familiarity or understanding of difference, to acceptance, solidarity or engagement. Furthermore, the thesis demonstrates that newly developed, revised or changed values and attitudes are likely to be communicated to significant others in a sending society. This contributes to the cross-border circulation of values, attitudes, beliefs, discourses, language and practices, and may affect not only migrants’, but also significant others’ capacity to live with difference.
... Transnational interpersonal communication involves important practices that allow migrants to constantly connect with people in multiple locations, especially with those in their countries of origin (Bacigalupe and Camara, 2012;Collins, 2009;Metyková, 2010;Wilding, 2006). Filipina migrant women, for example, use the mobile phone as a means to continue parenting their left-behind children in the Philippines (Madianou and Miller, 2011). ...
... According to Metyková (2010), young migrants who are accustomed to new technology before they migrate maintain their patterns of Internet use. Whereas behavioral studies on Internet use by migrants tend to focus more on the relationship between the pattern of Internet use and its cultural-psychological consequences (e.g., Chen, 2010;Park et al., 2014), the contextual approach to migrants' Internet use shifts to understanding migrants' living contexts as the starting point of a transnational communication study (Wilding, 2006). ...
Article
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Based on a study of unaccompanied Korean student migrants, this article investigates how transnational communication helped the students continue their transnational journey for educational success. Although suffering perennial loneliness, the students continued with their studies because they still believed acquiring education in the United States would be advantageous in securing their success. They became actively involved in transnational communication to cope with stresses and to gain emotional support. Transnational communication played an important role in mediating between their pursuit of education and desired cultural capital and the loneliness and isolation as migrants on their own.
... Although political exchanges of migrants across national boundaries had been the focus of some of these studies (Park, 1971;Yaple & Korzenny, 1989), others explored how migrants' usage of ethnic media in the host society helped them better adapt to their new living conditions (Krishnan & Berry, 1992;Reis, 2010;Subervi-Velez, 1986;Zubrzycki, 1958). Questions related to ethnic and national identities of migrants became more prominent with the diffusion of digital media and the creation of transnational virtual communities over the Internet (Bernal, 2006;Chan, 2005;Guarnizo et al., 2003;Kalathil, 2002;Metykova, 2010;Ong, 2003;Parham, 2004). The traditional method of analyzing the quality and quantity of ethnic news consumed by migrants through print media, radio, and television (Fathi, 1973;Hao & Zhu, 2005;Kim, 1977) gave way to the analyses of various transnational exchanges online. ...
... Studies have mapped and analyzed the different patterns of mobile phone use in the day-to-day lives of both rural to urban and cross-border migrants (Chib, Wilkin, & Mei Hua, 2013;Law & Chu, 2008;Law & Peng, 2007;Paragas, 2009;Qiu, 2009). The most common transnational activities over mobile phone so far mapped include migrants' communication exchanges with family and friends in their country of origin, as also in other countries (Metykova, 2010). In addition, mobile phones have also been instrumental in migrants' formation of ties with host society members, as well as members from their own community (coethnics) residing in the host country (Thompson, 2009). ...
Article
Political participation has generally been evaluated among civic resident populations using the indices of voting and campaign participation. However, migrants’ engagement with politics in their home country has become increasingly virtual with the advent of mobile/social media, suggesting a need to go beyond traditional theorizations. This article tries to understand how affordances of new media are leveraged by migrants with different political orientations as they engaged politically with their homeland. Two contexts were identified to understand their transnational political exchanges: (a) elections in homeland India, and (b) the backdrop of various civil society movements. In-depth interviews were conducted among 31 Indian migrants in Singapore with diverse political ideologies and linguistic backgrounds. Calling, messaging, sharing of news stories/posts, and commenting were the most commonly used mobile affordances. Social constructivist tradition in technology appropriation found support in the way respondents tested the affordances of mobile/social media before adding them to their usage repertoire. Due to limited political entitlements and lack of leeway in work schedules, no goal-oriented use of communication technologies was made. Political discussion hardly led to political action—such as demonstrations or public speeches—in the host country.
... researchers across a number of fields have directed attention to the interrelationships between human and media mobilities. Scholars have sought to understand how networked media articulate with people's experiences of place, mobility and social relationships to become meaningful for migrants (Moores, 2012), including how these media may transform migrants' homeland nostalgia by compressing space and time (Mejía Estévez, 2009;Metykova, 2010); produce diasporic mediaspheres in ways both related to and different from the older diasporic worlds mediated by earlier media forms like newspapers, video and cinema (Aksoy and Robins, 2000;Budarick, 2011;Cunningham and Sinclair, 2000;Dayan, 1999;Sun, 2005); necessitate 'digital journeys' as migrants transition between digital environments in home and host countries (Chang and Gomes, 2017;Chang et al., 2018); or transform migrant localities into translocalities: places whose 'social architecture and relational topologies have been refigured on a transnational basis' (Collins, 2009;Conradson and McKay, 2007: 168;Martin and Rizvi, 2014). This article contributes to research on 'mediatized migrants' (Hepp et al., 2011) by analysing the media practices of a group of Southeast Asian transmigrants interviewed in Melbourne, Australia. ...
... It draws on a strand of materialist work in media studies that has been dubbed 'non-mediacentric' media studies (e.g. Andersson, 2012;Hepp, 2009;Martin and Rizvi, 2014;Metykova, 2010;Moores, 2012;Morley, 2009;Ong, 2009). To approach media this way is to see it as a series of practices inextricably interwoven with people's wider everyday activities (Couldry, 2004); it is not to understand media as a sphere separable from other domains of life, but rather to see 'media as culture' and the human world as a 'media world' (Bird, 2003: 2, emphasis in original). ...
Article
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This article contributes to the exploration of interrelationships between human and media mobilities through analysis of qualitative interviews with 18 Southeast Asian transmigrants in Australia. This group demonstrated three main orientations toward the media they habitually engaged. In the memorial-affective orientation, respondents re-engaged media familiar from remembered pre-migration childhood and family contexts. An ambivalent-localizing orientation was taken toward Australian legacy media, some of which respondents found helped them relate to Australian culture while other forms were experienced as xenophobic and alienating. In the cosmopolitan-global orientation, respondents engaged global corporate, largely Anglophone media in ways that reinforced their sense of themselves as mobile and cosmopolitan. Most importantly, in our respondents’ experience, these three orientations were often not separable but interwoven into complex admixtures. We explore the implications of this hybrid experience of location through media both for the conceptualization of place in globalization, and for the study of migrant media.
... New media, especially social media, are one of the major facilitators of a migration decision. The presence of a peer group in social media, as well as having virtual connections to other migrants from the same local community, can function as a meaningful aspect with reference to the feelings of safety and support (Vertovec, 2004;Metykova, 2010). They can serve as push and pull factors for those who want to leave home and migrate to either another city, or abroad. ...
... To avoid such problems our second methodological influence is the rapidly growing postulate of ethnographers about the value of extending fieldwork to the internet in order to capture the rapidly changing sphere of people's social and cultural activity (Postill and Pink 2012). This seems to be particularly important in the case of post-enlargement migrants, who are themselves heavy internet users and computer-mediated communicators (Metykova 2010; Pustułka 2015). With internet forums the decision to contribute, how to contribute and what to say is much more in the control of the contributor, although of course they are affected by the society of which they are a part. ...
Article
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Certain CEE countries, such as Poland, the Baltic states, Lithuania and Romania, joined the EU in May 2004, and their migratory outflows accelerated as a result. Some scholars say that joining the EU completed the system transformation, and since May 2004 we have been talking about a different stage of development. As we agreed in this introduction that development is not a process which includes stages and levels but is a multidirectional, dynamic process penetrating different spheres of life, the accession to the EU has opened up new avenues for analysis. There are still arguments for not totally putting aside the developmental perspectives to understand the changes which EU post-communist societies are undergoing. In that sense, we call not for dropping this point of view altogether, but rather for a more nuanced, fine-grained and context-dependent analysis taking into account not just the differences between countries, but diverse path development and takes on modernisation within them.
... Telecommunication has long been identified as an important means of maintaining regular contact with distant friends and family in the home culture (Metykova, 2010;Vertovec, 2004). Within Singapore, migrants reached out to familiar co-ethnics for companionship and social support, particularly informational, as related to their workplace (as described in the precious section). ...
Article
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The unabated influx of transnational labour migrants has been accompanied by complex societal fissures, from differential policies to the creation of isolated cultural geographies. In Singapore, citizens voice their aggravation caused by transients’ lack of acculturation, and the resultant risks posed to the cosmopolitan vision of the state. We examine the intersection of transnational acculturation with mediated communication via mobile phones within the domains of life and work. Data from in-depth qualitative interviews (75) allowed for thick descriptions. We find that, despite encountering heterotopic practices, transnational migrant workers engage in a phenomenon we label ‘bounded cosmopolitanism’, or the ability to engage in learning, enjoy economic growth, and embrace cultural hybridity, to escape the shackles of race, class, and gender. Mobile phones play a significant role in providing open participatory spaces; yet; this phenomenon signifying openness, innovation, and acceptance is restricted to organizational workspaces. We therefore conclude with comments on the implications of applying management perspectives to broader societal challenges, and propose shifting of the discourse from the bounded confines of the organization to that of society.
... To some degree, these claims chime with the strong tendency within the mainstream of migration studies to emphasise discontinuity between migrants' home countries and their countries of destination, marked by 'an either/or approach to home and host allegiances' (Baldassar et al. 2007: 11). This is despite recent studies which suggest that A8 migrants in particular find it relatively easy to retain active links to their families of origin across geographical distance due to developments in social media and other online technologies, as well as access to cheaper and faster modes of travel (Wilding 2006, Metykova 2010. In contrast with mainstream approaches, the sub-field of transnational family studies tends to emphasise how migrants may actively maintain ties to multiple locations and develop 'dual' or 'hybrid' identities (ibid.). ...
Article
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This paper explores continuity and innovation in the everyday relational practices of a group of post-accession Polish migrants who first arrived in the UK when in their late teens and twenties. In the context of claims that migration has allowed younger migrants to pursue lives free from familial ties and responsibilities, the paper focuses on their living arrangements in the UK and the extent to which they actively eschew or embrace familial relationships, practices and commitments. Our data suggest that moving to the UK had undoubtedly facilitated new freedoms and opportunities, yet these were utilised by many to bring forward, rather than delay, a sequence of broadly conventional domestic transitions, accompanied for many by ongoing dependency and interconnectedness with networks of extended family members who had also migrated to the UK. Our paper draws on the concepts of frontiering and relativising (Bryceson and Vuorela 2002) and argues that our participants were engaged in sets of practices linked to both. Further, these practices not only entailed a continual revision of migrants’ sense of family identity, affected by life stage, but were also underpinned for many by the centrality of traditional conceptualisations of family
... This research contributes to migration studies by explaining how social capital is activated towards human capital development amongst the Lithuanian Diaspora. The study represents an empirical contribution by strengthening insights into Lithuanians as a growing group of Eastern European migrants (Metykova 2010). This topic is timely, in view of the growing phenomenon of cross-border mobility and migration (Chort, Gubert, and Senne 2012;McIlwaine 2011), a prime policy concern for the European Union and beyond (European Commission 2013). ...
Article
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This paper explains how social capital activates the accumulation of human capital within a Diaspora context. Our study focused on migrants in the Lithuanian Diaspora and revealed unexpected differences in the way low- and high-skilled migrants developed and applied social capital in order to accumulate human capital. Namely, despite a less privileged point of departure, low-skilled Lithuanians appeared stronger in developing new social networks, and were more driven to strengthen their human capital than high-skilled migrants. The study provides novel empirical and theoretical insights by explaining the significance of social capital in the accumulation of human capital among Diaspora communities. In so doing, the study provides important insights for integration policy development for immigrant-receiving countries, offering a different perspective on high- and low-skilled migrant mobility and integration intentions.
... 3.2 This is not claimed as a new phenomenon, but it has been widely argued that the recent developments of new communication technologies and cheaper and faster modes of travel have accelerated the degree to which this occurs, making it much easier for migrants to retain active links to their home country (Urry 2000;Wilding 2006;Metykova 2010). The participants in our own research, for example, are very well versed in the use of social networking media, including specialist Polish social networking sites, are adept users of Skype and other cut price telephone services, often subscribe to Polish satellite television channels, and are frequent users of budget airlines operating between the UK and Poland. ...
Article
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This paper compares and contrasts some of the conceptual language used to engage with the realm of family and personal life within the parallel fields of transnational family studies (TFS) and British family studies (BFS). Key concepts which are now widely referenced within BFS - such as 'family practices', 'family display', 'families of choice' and 'connectedness' - have not been widely drawn upon within TFS. Instead, TFS scholars are developing alternative concepts such as 'ways of being' versus 'ways of belonging' and 'frontiering and relativising', often to capture very similar ideas to those current within BFS. This paper critically explores some of the concepts currently being used within transnational family studies, highlighting points of similarity and difference with the BFS tradition, and considers what these parallel literatures might learn from each other. The paper is illustrated by examples drawn from ESRC-funded research on the experiences of post-accession Polish migrants living in the UK.
... 395). For many migrant workers, national identity is not something which can be changed by the migration process and the adoption of a transnational lifestyle (see section 1.9); participants in Metykova's (2010) study of expressed a pragmatic acceptance that 'the language they spoke, the books they were brought up reading, the food they ate, the sports they watched on TV were all linked to the place they were born and they could not change this' (pp. 337, added emphasis). ...
Technical Report
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A final report about European citizens arriving from the Accession countries in the East of England (a three year project funded by the East of England Development Agency)
... New media, especially social media, are one of the major facilitators of a migration decision. The presence of a peer group in social media, as well as having virtual connections to other migrants from the same local community, can function as a meaningful aspect with reference to the feelings of safety and support (Vertovec, 2004;Metykova, 2010). They can serve as push and pull factors for those who want to leave home and migrate to either another city, or abroad. ...
... 395). For many migrant workers, national identity is not something which can be changed by the migration process and the adoption of a transnational lifestyle (see section 1.9); participants in Metykova's (2010) study of expressed a pragmatic acceptance that 'the language they spoke, the books they were brought up reading, the food they ate, the sports they watched on TV were all linked to the place they were born and they could not change this' (pp. 337, added emphasis). ...
Technical Report
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This is the third and final report of the Longitudinal Study of Migrant Workers in the Eastern Region commissioned by the East of England Development Agency (2008 – 2010). Partly funded by the European Social Fund, the study explored the perspectives of migrant workers (and stakeholders) in relation to: factors that influence decisions on coming to the UK and length of stay; barriers to full participation in the regional economy; and, barriers to social inclusion in local communities.
... This is reflected in recent migration studies. Metykova (2010), for instance, suggests that the usage of various Internet media among the post-2004 Eastern European migrants to the UK allows them to sustain close contact with their respective home countries as well as relatives. Similarly, Francisco (2013, 16), who multipies examples of how Filipino migrants in the United States partake in their family life away from home, argues that in the context of migration 'technology opens up the potential for intimacy and closeness through the visual register of communication technologies like Skype'. ...
Article
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In this article, I explore how attitudes towards difference in terms of ethnicity, religion, sexuality and gender travel between Polish migrants to the UK and their significant others in Poland. In doing so, I bring together and critically engage with two disparate literatures—on social remittances and family and peer transmission of attitudes. I demonstrate that what occurs between Polish migrants and their non-migrant significant others is a complex process in which favourable and prejudiced attitudes are passed on, challenged, rejected or negotiated. While I stress that both migrants and non-migrants influence each other’s perceptions of difference, I show that non-migrants are more likely to assume the ‘correctness’ of migrant’s attitudes due to the construction of migrants as trusted experts. Acknowledging the multidimensionality and simultaneity of such mutual influences, in the article, I call for the use of the term ‘circulation’ to describe the mobility of ideas, values and attitudes between people and places.
... Flexibility of movement within the EU, and the increasing numbers of transnational connections provide a new context for studying and theorising this mobility. Migration from Poland and the other new EU Member States has raised a number of issues about the labour migration and transnationalism which scholars such as Burrell (2009), Birckell and Datta (2011), Morokvasic (2004), Metykova (2010), Nowicka (2010), Ryan et al. (2008Ryan et al. ( , 2009, Ryan (2011a, b) and Williams et al. (2004) have begun to address. Studies of transnational practices of exchange, communication and frequent travel impact upon the outlook and daily experiences of migrants (Vetrovec 2004a). ...
Article
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The paper discusses the explanatory use of the concept of transnationalism in relation to contemporary patterns of intra-European mobility, drawing on evidence from two qualitative studies of new labour migration from Poland to Scotland. It suggests that the transnational way of life of migrants is leading to the creation of a European space conceived in terms of a new kind of socio-cultural configuration. The paper draws on the concept of capitals (economic, social and cultural) derived from the work of Pierre Bourdieu. In particular, it uses these concepts to reflect on the gains and losses in capital of Polish migrants in Scotland and in their home country. It questions the classical brain drain approach to labour migration by giving more nuance picture of the migrants’ lives characterised by circulation of capitals and simultaneous commitment to more than one country.
... Among the many local studies of the new migration facilitated by the EU enlargements of the 2000s (cf. Recchi and Triandafyllidou 2010), Metykove (2010) explores the implications of media practices for identity, belonging and political participation, highlighting migrants' sophisticated skills in combining traditional and digital media. Sandu (2005) takes another look at East-West population movements and poses the question of whether Eastern Europeans are developing a type of 'regional transnationalism'. ...
... Anecdotal evidence suggests that like mobile phones, it is popular among immigrants, who use it to stay in touch with their home countries. Migrants from Eastern Europe now living in the UK, for example, use it extensively (Metykova, 2010). In Australia, Skype has become popular among rural households, for whom it is a ready antidote to the loneliness and isolation of the outback, and has increased the volume and quality (with video) of long-distance ties (Ricard, 2009). ...
Article
This paper offers an overview of the massive regulatory, technological, and social changes that have reshaped the world’s telephony markets since the rise of the internet. It begins by examining how neoliberalism has reworked the world’s telecommunications markets, and then turns to the global wave of deregulation that this transformation has entailed. It then focuses on the geographies of mobile or cellular telephony, which exceeds traditional landlines by a factor of 10 and is having substantial impacts, particularly in the developing world. The fourth part delves into the rapidly expanding domain of Voice Over Internet (VOIP) telephony such as Skype, which comprises more than a quarter of the world’s telephone traffic.
... Post-accession Polish migrants live in what Castells (1996) terms 'electronic homes'. They are fluent users of the new communication technologies that are an integral part of their everyday life (an observation confirmed by Metykova's (2010) research on post-accession migrants). In one sense they use media for their own personal development. ...
Article
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This article, based on a study carried out in Manchester between 2005 and 2008, contrasts two approaches toward national identity construction expressed by two distinct groups of Polish migrants to the UK; one leads to a strong modern national identity and the other produces a more recent postmodern identity. In both cases, I highlight the constant reproduction of national identity in everyday life and the distinct spatial contexts within which this takes place, and further discuss how national identity has evolved from a primarily collective experience to an individual one, along with the consequences of this transformation.
... Recent migration and transnationalism literature suggests that many migrants maintain close contact with their relatives and friends in sending societies (Metykova 2010;Nedelcu 2012). Information and communication technologies alongside inexpensive telephone services and increasingly affordable air travel facilitate relatively frequent information exchanges and sustain long-distance relationships (Vertovec 2009). ...
Article
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While Polish migration to the UK has attracted much academic attention, there has been less discussion about the consequences of Polish migrants’ encounters with difference in socially diverse UK contexts. In particular, relatively little has been written about how Polish migrants describe or refer to ‘visible’ difference in terms of ethnicity, nationality, religion, class and gender. This reflects a broader tendency in migration studies to frequently overlook the production and transnational transfer of migrant language. In this article, I explore how Polish post-2004 migrants to the northern English city of Leeds produce ‘the language of difference’ and how this migrant language is passed on to non-migrants in Poland. I distinguish two types of language of difference – the language of stigma and the language of respect. I note that migrants construct both speech normativities through engaging with rhetoric existing in the Polish and/or the UK context as well as through developing ‘migrant slang’ of difference. I further argue that the language of stigma and the language of respect are transferred to Poland via the agency of migrants. The article draws upon a broader study of Polish migrants’ values and attitudes towards difference and the circulation of ideas between these migrants and their family members and friends in Poland. It contributes to emerging debates on Polish migrants’ encounters with difference and social remittances between the UK and Poland.
... To avoid such problems our second methodological influence is the rapidly growing postulate of ethnographers about the value of extending fieldwork to the internet in order to capture the rapidly changing sphere of people's social and cultural activity (Postill and Pink 2012). This seems to be particularly important in the case of post-enlargement migrants, who are themselves heavy internet users and computer-mediated communicators (Metykova 2010;Pustułka 2015). ...
Article
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This paper explores how the workplace experience of migrants helps to determine part of the social remittances they can make to their country of origin. The social remittance literature needs to pay more attention to work as an element of the migrant experience. Focus is placed on public internet forums related to newspapers in Poland because these are a very open means of communicating experience to the public sphere. To support the analysis, UK census and other data are used to show both the breadth of work done by Polish migrants in the UK and some of its peculiarities. This is then followed with a more qualitative analysis of selected comments from the gazeta.pl website. The complexities of both the range of migrants' ideas about their work and also the analysis of internet-based newspaper comment sites as a form of public communication are shown. Social remittances and the importance of work and the workplace This paper poses the question of how the workplace experiences of Polish migrants in the UK might contribute to a neglected form of social remittance transmission, namely the workplace experience. Our aim is twofold. First, using UK census data, we explain the broad context within which Polish migrants have navigated the UK labour market. Second, we demonstrate how migrant narrative involvement in internet discussions in Po-land might remit information about the comparative experiences of work. In doing so, we also point to the methodological benefits of blending top-down quantitative data with bottom-up qualitative narrative material when analysing particular nuances in migration research. It has been argued that paid employment no longer plays the central role in defining our being and the nature of society that it once did (Grint 2005). But if this claim is of questionable validity for the mass of the population it is certainly dubious for those who engage in voluntary international migration. We know that a key motivating factor in migration is the search for better work. This may be a job itself, if the home society is characterised by unemployment; it may be better paid work; or, as Cieslik (2011) suggests, it may be a search for better work conditions. Paid work also creates the basis for the economic remittances that have
... New media, especially social media, are one of the major facilitators of a migration decision. The presence of a peer group in social media, as well as having virtual connections to other migrants from the same local community, can function as a meaningful aspect with reference to the feelings of safety and support (Vertovec, 2004;Metykova, 2010). They can serve as push and pull factors for those who want to leave home and migrate to either another city, or abroad. ...
... While many authors have looked into transnational practices of EEs in the enlarged EU (King et al., 2014;Lulle, 2014;Moskal, 2015;Metykova, 2010), few authors have researched the experiences of mobility of EEs in Spain (Petroff, 2016;Marcu, 2015a,b). Some authors analyze the behavior of other groups of immigrants (especially from Latin America) in Spain. ...
Article
This article examines the role of mobility in the creation of support strategies of Eastern Europeans (EEs) in Spain. It emphasizes the relational linkages of mobility and shows how strategies of linked-lives are constructed and maintained over the life-course. Drawing on 52 in-depth interviews with EEs (Romanians and Bulgarians) who practice mobility to and from Spain, this article makes two contributions. First, it expands the concept of linked-lives across the life-course in mobility. Second, it highlights mobility as a support strategy to show how EE mobile children, through their movement, assist their parents both in their origin countries and in Spain. I argue that mobility articulates and harmonizes multiple practices of support strategies that link people’s lives in different ways: (a) mobility as a strategy to support parents in old age; (b) mobility as a family livelihood strategy; and (c) mobility as a strategy of gratitude and family reunification. The conclusions highlight the need to integrate mobility as a support strategy into the study of global mobility.
... The significant variations that can be observed in voting behaviour of French expatriate voters between constituencies (and even between countries and cities) result in great part from the heterogeneity in their personal migratory trajectory and characteristics, which are likely to have shaped in different ways their relations to France and its politics (Dandoy & Kernalegenn, 2021;Duchêne-Lacroix, 2007;Lequesne, 2020). Such heterogeneity also explains the great diversities in the ways French political space abroad has been structured from a region of the world to another, prior to the 2017 elections. ...
Article
Through the analysis of French parties campaigning abroad during the 2017 French parliamentary elections, the paper offers a better understanding of the conduct of electoral campaigns abroad, with an emphasis on their local dimension. With its comparative focus on three very different constituencies abroad – Northern America, North-West Africa and Switzerland –, it shows how differentiated campaign strategies, rather than mere duplication of national or centralised strategies, attuned to local political dynamics and the diverse sociology of French electorates abroad are critical for electoral success.
... Internet voter turnout among is higher in countries where the Internet is widely used, such as in Japan and the USA. The Internet allows emigrant voters to follow political news from their origin country and monitor domestic electoral dynamics (Metykova 2010;Oiarzabal and Reips 2012). Internet voter turnout is also significantly higher in EU countries, perhaps from an indirect impact of campaigning for the European elections that occurred a few days after the consular elections' online vote. ...
Article
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Internet voting has been available for French citizens living abroad since 2006, and 43.21% of them filled out their ballots online for the first election of their consular delegates in 2014. Using a multivariate analysis of turnout figures at the district and country levels, this research note explores if ballot box and Internet voters differ in their electoral participation patterns. It concludes that turnout must be understood based on the voting modality that French voters choose. While the characteristics of the electoral district (community size, geographical, and historical proximity with France, and party competition) impact ballot box voter turnout, Internet voter turnout is most influenced by the host country’s economic and infrastructure development.
... Through new media use, migrants orient themselves toward certain destination countries, especially Finland and Sweden . In parallel, migrants from Estonia, like migrants from other post-Soviet countries, often maintain transnational ties with their nation of origin through media use routines, e.g., by watching television programmes in their native languages via the internet (Metykova, 2010). Similar forms of intertwinement of new media use and mobility experiences can often be seen among other migrants worldwide (Collin, 2014;Dekker & Engebersen, 2013;Lášticová, 2014). ...
... Through new media use, migrants orient themselves toward certain destination countries, especially Finland and Sweden . In parallel, migrants from Estonia, like migrants from other post-Soviet countries, often maintain transnational ties with their nation of origin through media use routines, e.g. by watching television programmes in their native languages via the Internet (Metykova, 2010). Similar forms of intertwinement of new media use and mobility experiences can often be seen among other migrants worldwide (Collin, 2014;Dekker & Engbersen, 2014;Lášticová, 2014). ...
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This collective monograph can be seen as a retrospective logbook of the long journey of the research group “Me. The World. The Media” (in Estonian “Mina. Maailm. Meedia”, abbreviated as MeeMa). The book offers a reflexive review of the long-term experience of researching the transformations in Estonian society, particularly by using the lens of social morphogenetic analysis developed by Margaret Archer and her co-workers. Specifically, the book aims to re-conceptualise the main results of the empirical studies from 2002 to 2014 by synthesising different theoretical perspectives on social change.
... In the era of globalization making 'investments' in belonging has turned out to be a widespread and universal phenomenon, which also involves the permanent population. Facing the challenge of global reflexivity (Beck, Bonss, & Lau, 2003), expressed by quickly shifting markets, social relations and political conditions, it is for many nonmobile residents rational to claim that they really belongto a social community, a network of friends (including social media, see Metykova, 2010), or a particular place. However there is a considerable gap between such claims and actual projects of 'making belonging come true'. ...
... Several scholars argue that there is a clear connection between electoral competition and turnout, with closer races having higher turnout rates (Blais, 2006;Geys, 2006). In a transnational setting, country of origin politics can become salient and influence emigrant voter mobilisation through homeland party outreach (Burgess, 2018;Burgess & Tyburski, 2017;Mencutek & Baser, 2018;Østergaard-Nielsen & Ciornei, 2018;Paarlberg, 2019) or because technological development allows emigrant voters to follow political news from their country of origin and take the pulse of electoral dynamics back home (Metykova, 2010;Oiarzabal & Reips, 2012). In this article, electoral competition is based on ex-post election results (Geys, 2006) and is calculated as the difference in percentages obtained by the first and second ranked party. ...
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A wide majority of countries acknowledge non-resident citizens' right to vote in elections in their country of origin. However, classical turnout theories do not take into account how electoral mobilisation has expanded into a transnational political field that reaches beyond national state borders. This paper analyses the determinants of emigrant turnout based on an original dataset of 25 countries of origin and each of the counties of residence where these voters reside. We find that emigrant communities from developing democracies experience a steep political learning curve that prompts their participation in home country politics, especially if they reside in countries with solid democratic institutions and linkages with their host societies. Our research also shows that remittances not only indicate commitment to family members' welfare in home countries, but positively influence participation in home country politics.
... One of few studies on the subject that can serve as a benchmark, the research conducted by Metykova [27] on the use of digital media by transnational workers coming from Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovak Republic and Slovenia to United Kingdom, demonstrated that: "Migrants interviewed for this research have proved to be avid and highly skilled users of digital media in particular, they access newspapers, magazines and films online, use Skype to make calls, post photographs on social networking sites and even check online images of their home towns in Eastern Europe on a daily basis." Therefore, our study will explore these findings in the case of Serbia. ...
... In the era of globalization making 'investments' in belonging has turned out to be a widespread and universal phenomenon, which also involves the permanent population. Facing the challenge of global reflexivity (Beck, Bonss, & Lau, 2003), expressed by quickly shifting markets, social relations and political conditions, it is for many nonmobile residents rational to claim that they really belongto a social community, a network of friends (including social media, see Metykova, 2010), or a particular place. However there is a considerable gap between such claims and actual projects of 'making belonging come true'. ...
Article
The outcome of the 2016 European Union membership referendum is re-shaping the United Kingdom’s relationship with the EU through shifting geopolitical positioning(s) and the (re)introduction of barriers and boundaries and also challenging British and EU citizens to revise their everyday sense of belonging. Accordingly, Brexit incorporates emergent and contested political projects of belonging, determining anew who belongs in a post-EU Britain. This paper discusses research directions focusing on the construction of political and everyday senses of belonging implied by public debates on Brexit, and critically examines the shifts in attitude towards received citizenship and different degrees of social exclusion.
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For the first time, French citizens living abroad elected in 2014 their consular councillors, i.e., the local representatives of emigrants. Based on an analysis of the results of consular elections at the district and list levels, this article aims at investigating the forms and modalities of these elections. We first focus on the electoral supply and demand for an election that turns out to be more political than advertised, and we determine the structural variables of turnout. Then we compare more specifically the differences between paper voting and Internet voting. This article therefore enriches our knowledge of the political participation of French people living abroad, but also of the influence of the Internet in a de-territorialized local ballot and more broadly the characteristics of extraterritorial votes.
Chapter
New technologies and migrations - INTRODUCTION The dynamics of the development of modern information and communication technologies (ICT) in recent years have become an important research subject. Links between ICT developments and international migrations are studied particularly in the context of the paradigm of transnationality. New technologies form the basis for transnational phenomena, mainly because they allow for mutual, dynamic, instant, frequent and efficient communication between actors of transnational processes – the migrant, and the receiving and the sending countries (Vertovec 2004: 219; Nedelcu 2012). They also change the level, intensity and speed of interaction between immigrants and their countries of origin (Vertovec 2009). One of the aspects of this new communication is also the transmission of patterns of cultural practices (as an element of social remittances), frequently modified, leading even to the creation of a so-called third culture in the country the immigrant has settled in (Mucha 2003: 170-171). Thus, engagement with ICT becomes a form of (virtual) transnational practice (Pustułka 2015: 100), and these migrants can be termed connected migrants (Diminescu 2008: 568) or online migrants – categories that link homo mobilis and homo numericus (Nedelcu 2012: 1352). The role of ICT in migration processes to a large extent concentrates on analyses of computer mediated communication (CMC) between migrants and their families and friends in sending countries: how these influence the adaptation, acculturation and integration processes. New technologies aid these processes by providing constant support from the social networks that exist in the migrant’s world, at the same time – paradoxically – enhancing their ancestry ‘roots’ (Boski 2014; Cemalcilar, Falbo and Stapleton 2005). What is also essential is what and how (using which technological channels) the migrants communicate with their close family and friends. Research shows the existence of twofold relations: on the one hand, the use of modern technologies in the country of destination is based on the application patterns garnered in the country of origin; on the other – migrants also adapt the modes of ICT use of the destination country (Fairlie, London, Rosner and Pastor 2006; Hamel 2009: 9). The aims of this paper are to present the results of a pilot survey of the use of ICT by educational migrants (foreign students in Poland) in the context of their adaptation, as well as to localize this study within a broader context of research into relations between migrations, ICT and adaptation processes (adopting new cultural patterns) among foreign students. These transmissions are always multilateral processes.
Article
This article examines Migrant Workers’ Television (MWTV) in Korea, exploring relationships between migration, media, and class. Existing studies on migrants have mainly focused on the ethnic and media consumption sides of migration. However, MWTV provides a unique picture of migrants, who joined together across diverse ethnic backgrounds and started a media production NGO with shared class interests. MWTV has produced television shows, film festivals, and other cultural projects since 2006 to claim a place for migrant workers in Korean society. This article provides three critical findings. First, it finds that globalization and new transnational systems make class one of the most important elements in the process of migration. Second, this moment of class realization results in active involvement in media production among migrant workers, who work against negative portrayals of them by mainstream media. Third, this realization is not an isolated event in Korean society, and different national and global democratic alliances emerge to support MWTV. They help MWTV overcome its limitations as a migrant group, but allow it to maintain its independence. Finally, this article asks for more focused attention on class and production in the study of media and migration.
Article
Migrant labour has been particularly significant in the British rural agribusiness sector, where employers often struggle to source labour regardless of economic conditions. While most research on East-Central European migration has focused on the experiences of members of the migrant community, this paper is one of a small number of studies that has gathered evidence from employers and labour recruiters. The paper draws on in-depth interviews undertaken in four case study areas. The analysis focuses on the practices of employers and recruiters that have shaped how migrant labour is sourced and used in the UK labour market, and how labour migration channels have evolved since 2004. The two main conceptual contributions of this paper are a new typology of recruitment/employment practices and a schema illustrating the changing spatial impacts of migration channels in areas of destination.
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Immigration to Israel by Jews from Western countries has been growing over recent years. Jerusalem attracts more of these mainly religious immigrants than any other city in Israel, and many choose to live in the Baka neighbourhood. These lifestyle/homecoming migrants come to Israel for religious and ideological reasons, seeking a sense of belonging to place. Paradoxically, such belonging is only found, I argue, when living in a community of expatriates who share a similar culture, background, ideology and lifestyle. The article focuses on the aspects in which sociabilities of Anglo and French immigrants are being formed in Baka, through either real-life or virtual means. The Anglo and French ‘bubbles’ in Baka, which are separate from each other, are formed through people’s daily routines. People meet and communicate in synagogues, parks, shops, educational institutions, at cultural events, with Facebook contacts and more. The bubbles are both functional and limiting. While they enable immigrants to find support as they deal with the difficulties of immigration, they also make it harder to assimilate into Israeli society. While migrants gain a sense of belonging in their new locale, they do so from within the bubble and remain strangers outside of it.
Article
This paper uses a transnational lens to discuss findings from a longitudinal study of the home literacy practices of linguistically diverse immigrant families. The paper draws on the experiences of three families to show how literacy events and practices index and mediate immigrants’ identities as they settle into the host community. Observations, interviews, and family members’ own documentation of their home literacies revealed the richness and complexity of the families’ linguistic repertoires. Using Levitt and Schiller’s distinction between ways of being and ways of belonging, the paper focuses on the role of everyday literacies in the families’ lives and on how critical events at home and abroad shaped family members’ identities as they navigated their new lives. The paper offers insights into the role of multilingual literacies in the settlement process and draws attention to the significance of literacy practices in shaping immigrants’ transnationalism.
Article
Recent scholarship across a range of disciplines has sought to understand how people’s relationship with place is increasingly produced by their interactions with digital entertainment and communications media. This scholarship has pointed to the capacity of social media to foster new ways of experiencing locality, culture and belonging, including for mobile populations and transnational communities. In this article, we draw upon original qualitative research to explore how international students in Australian higher education from China and India use local and transnational media to experience, thus produce, Melbourne as a place. We show how for this generation of international students their senses of both home and Australia are fragmented, deterritorialized and syncretic, woven in and through each other, as the Australia that they inhabit is fundamentally conditioned by the fluctuating mediated co-presence of home, derived from the simultaneity offered by digital media. Such a proposal goes beyond arguments about media’s role in the pluralization and hybridization of places, suggesting a more fundamental transformation in the very meaning of place itself as a result of the experiential ubiquity of transnational media connections.
Article
The focus of this article is on individual case studies selected for the purpose of illuminating the experiences of post-accession Polish migrant 'family lives' in the United Kingdom (UK). These case studies demonstrate what Morgan (1996) calls the movement of individuals through households and family relationships, simultaneous with the examination of the enlargement of the spaces in which family lives are conducted as a consequence of movement across the 'open borders' between the UK and Poland (Ryan, 2010). The focus is on how the interviewees' articulated what they presented to us as the impact of particular structural constraints (in terms of education, pensions, childcare and employment) on their future plans to settle in the UK or return to Poland. However, the main focus of the article is the relationship between these structural constraints and the tensions associated with fulfilling competing familial obligations in the UK and in Poland.
Article
As part of a research project on unaccompanied Korean adolescents in the United States, this study investigated their transnational communication practices. The adolescents, who experienced limited personal relationships and strange sociocultural environments, spent a large amount of time in their private rooms alone. They used the Internet heavily during unorganized after-school hours, consuming media content across national borders and communicating with people in Korea. However, these were not completely new communication practices that they developed in the United States. Rather, they maintained ways of communication to which they had been accustomed in Korea. Their communication practices were neither dependent nor independent variables in relation to their unusual life experiences in a foreign country. Instead, their transnational communication had long been a part of the context of their daily lives in response to sociocultural environments in both Korea and the United states.
Article
The presence and the apparent permanence of post-accession EU migrants in the UK is of significant interest to both academics and politicians. Studies have debated whether migration from new accession countries to the UK mark a new type of migration often described as ‘liquid’ and ‘open ended’, or whether these migrants will settle in the new destination countries. Based on a qualitative study of Poles who have lived in Scotland for at least six years, we observed four typologies of what we call migrants’ settling practices: (1) stayers, (2) over-stayers, (3) circular and transnational migrants and (4) economic migrants. The findings from this study demonstrate that Polish migrants do not have fixed ideas about the duration of their migration (in terms of a sense of permanence) but instead focus on diverse links, anchors or attachments in Scotland and Poland in describing their settling practices. Thus, the main contribution the article makes is to present an in-depth understanding of what settlement means from the perspective of migrants themselves. This paper concludes by providing a short comment on implications of the outcome of the Referendum on EU membership ‘Brexit’ in June 2016 on Polish migrants settling practices.
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The impacts of telecommunications on businesses include a varieties of activities often lumped together under the term e-commerce, which includes both business-to-business (B2B) transactions as well as those linking firms to their customers (B2C) and customers-to-businesses (C2B). E-commerce takes a variety of forms, including electronic data interchange (e.g., inventory data, digital invoices and contracts, purchase orders, and product updates), internet recruiting and advertising, web-based banking and stock trading, electronic retail shopping, and digital gambling. For the most part, this activity is restricted to large commercial actors, although many observers hope that the internet will open opportunities for small and medium sized establishments to reach out to national and global markets. Digital convergence of hitherto distinct media has opened new possibilities in internet video and telephony. Advocates maintain that the internet will open opportunities for undercapitalized small and medium sized establishments (SMEs) to access national and global markets.
Article
This article examines a soap opera club of Sri Lankan Sinhalese migrant women in Melbourne and their collective engagement with television soap operas from the home country. Teledramas, as Sri Lankan Sinhalese-language soap operas are known, have a predominantly female viewership in Sri Lanka and also constitute a significant presence in the media diets of Sinhalese migrant women in Melbourne, and elsewhere in the world. Furthermore, at a women’s teledrama club affiliated to a Sri Lankan diasporic association, Sinhalese migrant women come together to exchange and archive reproduced DVDs of teledramas broadcast in Sri Lanka, bought from Sri Lankan grocery shops in Melbourne. This article builds on ethnographic research conducted at the teledrama club to show how what may appear to be an informal gathering of female teledrama fans is complexly interwoven into the expression of identity and belonging in Australian society. The article positions trans-Asia media flows in Australia within the everyday lives of migrants by examining the Sri Lankan soap opera club as a gendered space as well as a cultural space of identity, belonging and expression. This article finds that the teledrama club provided the women a symbolic national identity as an audience and the Sri Lankan narratives offered audiovisual access to the value systems of their distant geography and past.
Article
This paper draws on lines of sociolinguistic theory that have arisen in response to globalisation and current thinking about mobilities in the social sciences. Using the constructs of space, scale and centre-periphery, we set out to analyse 564 Australian high school students’ responses to a questionnaire item which asked: ‘If you moved to another country, how important would it be for you to keep your Australian accent?’ Our exploration of the students’ responses through these lenses reveals the diverse ways in which young people imagine the mobility of their own accents and also how they situate the Australian accent more broadly.
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Over the last few decades lifestyle migration has been receiving increased interest amongst scholars. Most of the studies conducted in Europe tend to focus on the individuals from the ‘Old’ European Union (EU) countries moving abroad in search of a better quality of life and improved ‘social atmosphere’. The mobility of the ‘New’ Member State (NMS) nationals, on the other hand, is still perceived as predominantly economic and labour migration oriented. This article however, will argue that this is not necessarily the case for young NMS migrants who left their countries following the 2004 EU Enlargement. By using the example of Polish nationals living in Ireland the author will examine how these migrants, while initially motivated by economic factors, decided to stay in the host country for non-monetary reasons. This issue became significant following the 2008 recession, where people made their decisions to not return home despite the worsening economic situation in Ireland. This article argues – based on interview data - that these decisions were influenced by lifestyle rather than economic factors.
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This study explores the fuzzy discursive identifications of Polish residents in Britain following the Brexit referendum by using a corpus of Polish-language glocal media materials (Moja.Wyspa.co.uk). Fuzziness is defined and operationalized on three levels: with respect to (1) online media technologies (global/local; above-/below-the-line) that allow diverse voices; (2) identity positions of non-native residents (Polish migrants as EU citizens at a destabilizing moment) who are left with the sense of anomie and “in-betweenness”; (3) discursive strategies of self-presentation mobilized in the ongoing processes of identification, whose analysis sometimes transcends classificatory grids offered by (critical) discourse frameworks. Given such theoretical conceptualization and methodological operationalization of fuzziness, this study reports on the empirical analysis of 104 articles and ten commentary threads. It discusses the results of a thematic analysis that reveals the dominant, yet discrepant, foci of official and personal narratives of Poles in the UK. It traces the main ways of self-naming, attribution and self-evaluation of the Polish diaspora, also vis-à-vis other significant actors (based in Poland or Britain). It also uses corpus-linguistic tools to capture frequency and keyness parameters, collocational strength and sentiment analysis to reveal the linguistic patterning behind the studied discursive identifications. The analysis shows how a destabilizing political event (Brexit referendum) has influenced glocal ethnic media in their becoming even more intense “sites of identity struggle.” It concludes that the gradual acculturation of Polish diaspora prior to Brexit was disrupted and that retroactive ethnic identifications are hardly conducive to integration in a multicultural society.
Article
Based on a large-scale research project conducted in a northern English city, this paper focuses on the attitudes towards, and experienced by, Polish migrants as a result of increased immigration following the 2004 enlargement of the European Union. We pay attention to the ways in which people justify their negative attitudes towards this migrant group through competition for resources, particularly in terms of job security and the receipt of benefit payments. However, we also consider meaningful encounters between these migrants and the ‘local’ population, and how through these encounters attitudes can sometimes be transformed from negative to positive. Crucially, we demonstrate how Polish migrants themselves respond to these attitudes. In doing so, we show that by drawing upon the very same discourses of job security and social benefits they develop complex understandings of the ‘local’ population. Through its attention to immigration, the paper contributes to debates about the relationships between different social groups and processes of exclusion, highlighting the importance of encounters on the process of attitude formation. By giving voice to representatives of both the ‘local’ population and migrants, it further provides a rare perspective on social responses to immigration-driven diversity in European societies.
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Current notions of social exclusion are to an extent anchored in older concerns with relative poverty, which had the merit of considering not just material deprivation but also the social and cultural dimensions of participation or exclusion. The focus of this article is on the role of ICTs in relation to people’s ability to participate in society. It draws upon detailed qualitative research on single parent and young elderly households to explore what counts as experiences of inclusion or exclusion and the processes behind them. Dealing mainly, but not exclusively, with the more traditional ICTs of telephony and broadcasting, the article considers processes of self-exclusion as people have mixed evaluations of these technologies derived both from current circumstances and past experiences. It then looks beyond the acquisition of ICTs to show how other modes of access to these resources are important before reflecting upon the quality of experience of ICTs, not just in terms of the functionality on offer but also taking into account that technologies are themselves symbolic goods. Finally, and drawing on more recent research, the article asks what lessons might be learnt from these traditional ICTs when considering newly emerging ones like the Internet.
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This article explores the idea of social demand, as developed by Marc Raboy and his colleagues, with reference to the media consumption of Turkish-speaking migrants living in London. The authors begin by reflecting on the conceptual and theoretical framework within which it might be possible to understand the nature of social demand in such a transnational context. They argue that it is necessary to move beyond the categories that have been used to address national cultures and media. Rather than thinking through identity categories, the authors prefer to put the category of experience, or what John Dewey termed ‘knowledge-experience’, at the centre of concern. The article then seeks to operationalize this category through an analysis of fieldwork undertaken in two research projects in London. The article argues that, as a consequence of their transnational positioning, Turkish-speaking migrants formulate distinctive social demands beyond the national frame. What these migrants are doing is negotiationg a position between different cultural and political domains.
Article
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Scholars have used the traditional elite foreign correspondent as a prime measure of the quality of foreign news coverage. They regularly track the size of the corps of correspondents and focus their analyses of foreign news on coverage in major established news outlets like The New York Times and CBS. While this model has worked well for many years, it does not now. This is a result of the chronic decline of elite foreign correspondents coupled with the proliferation of alternate sources of foreign news. This article outlines trends changing the flow of foreign news and suggests some of the implications for scholars who wish to study the nexus between news and foreign policy.
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The extension of diasporic life across cultural and political spaces has challenged a number of key conceptual and methodological trends in social sciences. The diversification of cultural and political affairs within and across countries, next to the vast growth of more varied media production and consumption, have significantly altered the roles and meanings of the nation, citizenship and media culture. Consequently, the study of diaspora, culture and the media broke off the boundaries of a particular sub-field, attracting attention among media and communications scholars, sociologists of race, ethnicity and migration, historians and international relations’ experts. When in the spring of 2006 Latinos took over the streets of American cities after mobilising action around community centres, minority media and blog calls for participation in a movement for recognition and citizenship, many American politicians and social scientists were taken by surprise. Before that, a much more sudden, widespread, and on-going interest in diaspora emerged in the post-9/11 political atmosphere of tension, conflict and blaming. Events such as the London 7/7 bombings and the revelation of a plot for attacks on a number of flights in the UK in summer 2006 gave a further push to public and academic debates about diversity and migration. In just a few years, diaspora has become a keyword used widely by academics, politicians and the media. Diasporic mobilisation and ability to network with consequences for representation and political action are now more than an affair for the actors directly involved in them.
Article
This paper presents findings from an ethnographic case study in Germany investigating the relationship between shopkeepers and customers of small grocery stores owned by immigrants. The focus is on social practices within the shops and how those engaged in these activities make sense of them. Shops become meaningful through shared practices that revolve around selling and buying. However, this process is complex and not without conflict. Moving through the themes of belonging, remembering and socialising, I will show how the everyday lifeworlds of customers and shopkeepers, including their aspirations, expectations and uncertainties, intersect and how the shop emerges as a meaningful space through negotiation. Rather than looking at cultural differences alone, it is concluded that there can be significant other ways to understand multicultural places by focusing on the multiple ways that consumers engage with so-called ‘ethnic’ enterprises.
Article
In recent European literature on migration, two main trends characterize the ways in which migrants are increasingly portrayed. The first tends to define migrants in terms of their belonging to `communities' while, in the second trend, migrants and refugees epitomize ideas of diaspora and hybridity, as resistance to constructions of place-bound `communities'. In the context of these trends, women migrants hold ambivalent positions as particular `others'. In our article, we attempt to problematize the `purity' of these approaches. Based on research with Albanian migrant women in Athens, we examine the ways in which they construct very local, but also transnational and imagined communities while they seek to settle and find ways of integrating in the new setting. Using material from focus groups and biographical interviews with women migrants, as well as with women employers, we discuss: (a) the importance of informal practices of support and assistance at the neighbourhood level; and (b) the role of social services (health and child care), as they affect migrant women's efforts to negotiate a place for themselves and their dependents, to forge a sense of belonging and redefine communities and gender relations.
Article
Western European countries currently face much immigration from Eastern Europe and Asia. In Germany, Turkish migrants are the largest ethnic minority. Cohabitation is not yet a success story: some observers even fear the development of two separate cultures. Accordingly, public debate about the role of mass and ethnic media has risen. But what role do mass media and ethnic media play in the integration process? What is the role of'ethnic journalists'? In this article we discuss theoretical approaches to integration, cultural identity, and media consumption. We analyze the link between all three and present results pointing to the strong impact an ethnic online community has on the building of a hybrid cultural identity between majority and minority culture. We also discuss our findings on ethnic journalists' acculturation, self-conception, and audience evaluation.
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The article examines the interactive uses of journalism, focusing on the changes brought by new communication technology in the everyday news media uses of young Finns. The study is based on a survey and in-depth interviews. The results indicate that even though young Finns have easy access to new communication technology, journalism is still predominantly used via television and printed newspapers. While nearly all subjects followed news regularly, a fifth of the respondents had taken advantage of participatory activities offered by the news media. Consequently, technology alone does not seem to alter news practices. The interactive usage of journalism thus seems to be individualized entertainment for the majority of the young people that were studied, and only for few was it a platform for active citizenship. The everyday practices of using journalism via new media point towards heterogeneous activity and the conflicting meanings given to them.
Article
This paper is based on an empirical study of users of an internet café in South east England. It picks out some of the key distinctions between internet use within domestic spaces and as a technology accessed in a public economy of consumption. The research findings are contextualized and tested against existing work on public internet access. The material derived from interviews with customers is used to explore the ways in which the internet is differently perceived, used and gendered in the public spaces of an internet café. The paper argues that public use of the internet is not just a transitional phenomenon which precedes home internet adoption. The research revealed that the internet café provided a distinct and dedicated use space which was intimately bound up in the domestic and work routines of its users.
Article
In recent years, especially with the advent Digital Broadcasting Satellite (DBS) technology, transnational media has become central in the consumption of news by immigrant populations. This has received some attention as a factor associated with the lack of integration into their new societies. The present article demonstrates that diaspora as an analytic term is indeed relevant for observations and empirical investigations of media practices among contemporary immigrants, leaving room for questions of multiple belonging with implications for everyday life. According to recent data, people with migrant experience tend to seek news very broadly. Extensive news media consumption, desire for more international news than found in the national television channels, and a critical stance towards the news from these channels, are also part of the picture. A diaspora perspective transforms the prospect presented by observers and journalists, worried about integration processes, and prompts considerations that immigrants are also emigrants.
Article
Abstract Although globalization has usually been associated with advanced communications technology, arguably nothing has facilitated global linkage more than the boom in ordinary, cheap international telephone calls. Low-cost calls serve as a kind of social glue connecting small-scale social formations across the globe. In this article I present recent data on the rapid growth and diffusion of telephone traffic and describe the proliferation of prepaid phonecards. Second, I outline the commercial, social and geographical ramifications of this explosion in transnational communication.
Article
The article asserts that Goffman's concept of normality comes close to the notion of trust as a protective mechanism that prevents chaos and disorder by providing us with feelings of safety, certainty, and familiarity. Arguing that to account for the tendency of social order to be seen as normal we need to conceptualize trust as the routine background of everyday interaction, the article analyzes Goffman's concepts of normal appearances, stigma, and frames as devices for endowing social order with predictability, reliability, and legibility. For Goffman, normality is a collective achievement, which is possible because of the orderliness of interactional activities, which is—in turn—predicated “on a large base of shared cognitive presuppositions, if not normative ones, and self-sustained restraints” (Goffman 1983, American Sociological Review 48:1–53, p. 5 cited here).
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This introductory article sets out the theoretical and methodological framework of a research project into news-viewing in multilingual families and households in the UK on and after 11 September 2001 upon which the articles in this special issue are based. Viewing the attacks of 11 September 2001 and their aftermath on television triggered deep emotional responses in viewers. Many people experienced a sense of trauma; these events forced viewers to think about the unthinkable—violent and painful death at the hands of terrorists—and the consequences of continuing Muslim–Western political tensions. In thinking through the causes, meanings and consequences of these events, viewers offered accounts of other ‘ground zeros’. They compared and contrasted coverage on a range of channels such as BBC, Al-Jazeera and CNN, and actively sought alternative news sources because of perceived bias in Western reporting. The research examines the extent to which different patterns of news consumption reinforce or relativise understandings of terrorism and political violence.
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The author considers the reception, use, and interpretation of media content by diasporic Greek Cypriot communities.
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Methodological nationalism is understood as the assumption that the nation/state/society is the natural social and political form of the modern world. We distinguish three modes of methodological nationalism that have characterized mainstream social science, and then show how these have influenced research on migration. We discover parallels between nationalist thinking and the conceptualization of migration in postwar social sciences. In a historical tour d’horizon, we show that this mainstream concept has developed in close interaction with nation–state building processes in the West and the role that immigration and integration policies have played within them. The shift towards a study of ‘transnational communities’— the last phase in this process — was more a consequence of an epistemic move away from methodological nationalism than of the appearance of new objects of observation. The article concludes by recommending new concepts for analysis that, on the one hand, are not coloured by methodological nationalism and, on the other hand, go beyond the fluidism of much contemporary social theory.
Interviews completed under research on environmental experiences of trans-European migrants conducted in
  • M Metykova
Metykova, M. (2007). Interviews completed under research on environmental experiences of trans-European migrants conducted in 2006 and 2007 at the University of Sunderland.
Normality and trust in Goffman's theory of interaction order Becoming anybody: Thinking against the nation and through the city
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