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Polish Mothers on the Move: Gendering Migratory Experiences of Polish Women Parenting in Germany and the United Kingdom

Pustulka, Paulina (2014) Polish Mothers on the Move: Gendering Migratory Experiences of Polish Women Parenting in Germany and the United Kingdom. PhD thesis, Prifysgol Bangor University.

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Abstract

Situated at the crossroads of family studies and migration research, this thesis discusses the experiences of Polish migrant mothers raising their children in Germany and the United Kingdom from a gender-centred feminist perspective. The literature review chapters of this work show the scholarly works relevant to a discussion on the migrant lives of the study’s respondents as migrants, being both Poles and mothers. On the one hand, it highlights scholarly research on the processes of mobility, particularly in relation to transnationalism, migration of mothers and children, as well as the specific conditions faced by contemporary migrants from Poland to Western Europe. On the other hand, it reflects on modern families and parenting, offering in particular a feminist critique of mothering. The thesis then supplies details on the data collection and includes a discussion of the researcher’s reflexivity in the field. The empirical evidence was obtained through a qualitative, small-scale field study – a feminist inquiry using an in-depth interviewing technique. By showcasing the findings, the thesis demonstrates a range of choices that Polish mothers abroad make when it comes to raising children. The study delineates the following ideal-type models: Mother-Pole connected to the Polish heritage, Intensive Motherhood adopted as a mainstream model of Western Europe, the peripheral instances of Feminist Mothering, and, finally, the New Migrant Mothering. The latter is an original, key contribution of this thesis, illustrated by women’s stories of the transnational integrative practice of mothering that aims at hybridization of Polish and Western influences. While addressing the earlier knowledge gap, namely the absence of the voices of Polish mothers as agents of mobility, the thesis ascertains a need for acknowledging diversity in parenting practices within the contemporary intra-European transnational families.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: Degree Thesis
Departments: College of Business, Law, Education and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
Degree Thesis
Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2016 12:02
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 12:02
URI: http://e.bangor.ac.uk/id/eprint/9759
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