Social Relationships and Relationships in Context: Post-Accession Poles in Southampton



McGhee D, Travena P & Heath S (2015) Social Relationships and Relationships in Context: Post-Accession Poles in Southampton. Population, Space and Place, 21 (5), pp. 433-445.

In this article, we examine post-accession Poles' shifting identity practices through the lens of their attitudes to other Poles in a high-density post-accession Polish migration destination, namely the city of Southampton on England's south coast. We examine the impact of human capital (in this instance, we will focus on their ability to speak English) and the extent of their social capital (focusing on the restrictions based on their communicative competence with non-Polish groups and their particular trust issues associated with compatriots). We contextualise our findings in other research on post-accession Poles in London, Glasgow, the Midlands of England, the North of England, the Netherlands, Norway, and Brussels, thus drawing together common themes from a wide body of evidence. Through examining biographical data focusing on the everyday lives of our participants, we were able to explore the impact of context on their presentation of their identities and relational practices. By so doing, we exposed the interplay of a range of intersecting factors that result in many of our participants leading restrictive and restricted lives.

social capital; linguistic capabilities; Polish migrants; social networks

Population, Space and Place: Volume 21, Issue 5

FundersUniversity of Southampton
Publication date31/07/2015
Publication date online10/05/2015
Date accepted by journal20/10/2014

People (1)


Professor Derek McGhee

Professor Derek McGhee

Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences