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'At home' in migration: the social practices of constructing 'home' among Polish and Lithuanian migrants in London

Parutis, V.A.; (2009) 'At home' in migration: the social practices of constructing 'home' among Polish and Lithuanian migrants in London. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

Based on the empirical study of recent Polish and Lithuanian migrants in London, this thesis challenges the conventional understanding of home and explores the ways in which transnational migration and home construction constitute one another. First, it explores how the notion of 'home' is constructed by recent Polish and Lithuanian migrants, and how it contributes to the making of migrant identity. Second, it demonstrates the importance of ‘home’ for understanding migrants' behaviour and attitudes. The key starting point of my thesis is that home is constructed on the basis of everyday social practices. Therefore I investigate strategies which these migrants use to make themselves feel at home in their immediate living and working environment in the UK, but also in the wider British society. The thesis also considers the relationship of migrants with the home country while in the UK and after return. I utilise secondary/contextual data, in-depth interviews with young recent Polish and Lithuanian migrants in London, and ethnography, to carry out my study. This thesis develops the scholarship on middling transnationalism by highlighting the self-developmental set of migration motivations and their significance for the overall migration experience and migrants’ future plan. My study also advances existing understanding of 'home' by exploring a very specific meaning of home, i.e. home for a highly fluid population of young and ambitious East European transnationals. I also show the contributions of my research to theoretical perspectives on gender and ‘whiteness’. Although my empirical findings focus on the Polish and Lithuanian case study, I argue that this research has broader implications for theoretical formulations of transnational migration and construction of ‘home’.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:'At home' in migration: the social practices of constructing 'home' among Polish and Lithuanian migrants in London
Language:English
Additional information:Authorisation for digitisation not received
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > SSEES (School of Slavonic and East European Studies)

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