ECPR General Conference
University of Glasgow, Glasgow
3 - 6 September 2014

Female Migrants’ Agency: The Case of Female Polish Migrant Workers in the UK

Karima Aziz
London Metropolitan University
Karima Aziz
London Metropolitan University

Recent female Polish migrants to the UK have been described as hypermobile female workers characterised by reliability, efficiency, cheapness and commitment. This can both challenge and reinforce the Polish nationalist version of femininity as represented by Mother Pole ‘Matka Polka’ - a figure limited to procreation and domesticity. This research will address the experiences of female Polish migrants in the United Kingdom and the influence of structure and agency on their working and wider lives using a qualitative approach. By conducting and analysing biographical narrative interviews the complex dimensions of migrants’ aspirations and realities can be analysed without the risk of biased assumptions. The research has a multifaceted approach combining perspectives at the micro-level of individual experiences of female Polish migrants, the meso-level of households, networks and trade union activities as well as at the macro-level on changing employment in Europe.
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"Man is by nature a political animal" - Aristotle

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