Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2803

Article | Open Access

New Horizons? Comparisons and Frames of Reference of Polish Multiple Migrants Worldwide

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Abstract:  Building on the literature on transnational social fields (Levitt & Glick Schiller, 2004) and the research agenda on pluri-local transnational studies (Pries, 2001), in this article we examine the processes of Polish migrants’ social positioning. Nowadays many migrant trajectories are more complex than moving just from one place to another, involving repeated migration spells, returns, and onward mobility. In particular, multiple migration routes involving more than one destination expand the horizons lived by migrants and hence the frames in which they can position themselves. We adopt an actor-centred approach to better understand how highly mobile individuals negotiate social comparisons concerning the contexts they have engaged in during their multiple migration spells. This article draws on qualitative data from the MULTIMIG project that examines Polish migration worldwide. The analysis is based on a qualitative panel study with 70 Poles living abroad, who have the experience of multiple migration (who have lived in two countries outside of Poland for at least three months in each). The interviews shed light on how Polish migrants make social comparisons, and in particular, which frames of reference they adopt.

Keywords:  frames of reference; multiple migrants; Polish migrants; social positioning



© Justyna Salamońska, Aleksandra Winiarska. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.