Family migration: the role of children and education in family decision-making strategies of Polish migrants in London

Article


Ryan, L. and Sales, R. 2011. Family migration: the role of children and education in family decision-making strategies of Polish migrants in London. International Migration. 51 (2), pp. 90-103. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2435.2010.00652.x
TypeArticle
TitleFamily migration: the role of children and education in family decision-making strategies of Polish migrants in London
AuthorsRyan, L. and Sales, R.
Abstract

Poland’s accession to the European Union in May 2004 brought many new possibilities and opportunities for Polish migrants to the United Kingdom. However, the focus on individual migrants has underestimated the complex roles of families in migration strategies and decision making. This paper brings together data from two studies of Polish migrants in London. In 2006–2007, we carried out a qualitative study, Recent Polish Migrants in London. That research examined how families may be reconfigured in different ways through migration, for example, transnational networks and splits within families. While the study participants represented varied examples of family reunification, they also revealed the complex decision making processes about leaving, staying, rejoining and returning. In our most recent study, Polish Children in London Primary Schools, we interviewed parents, who had migrated with children, about their experiences and expectations of London schools. This study revealed that the age of children was usually a factor in family migration decision making. There was a common expectation that younger children could easily adapt to a new school and learn English quickly. Drawing on the findings of these two studies, this paper will explore firstly, the variety of family migration strategies and secondly, the factors that inform migrants’ decisions to bring their families (especially children) or to leave them back home. Finally, the paper concludes by considering some of the policy implications of our findings.

Research GroupSocial Policy Research Centre (SPRC)
PublisherWileyBlackwell
JournalInternational Migration
ISSN0020-7985
Publication dates
Print01 Jan 2011
Publication process dates
Deposited18 Nov 2013
Output statusPublished
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2435.2010.00652.x
LanguageEnglish
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