Polish Labor Migrations at the Start of the Century: The Role of Migration Networks
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Publication date: 2012-08-31
GNPJE 2012;257(7-8):117–141
The article focuses on migration networks and labor migrations by Polish workers seeking employment abroad. The article refers to key theories describing migration processes and analyzing network resources and functions. The authors also evaluate the meaning of trust as a positive factor for migration networks as well as the role of “bridging” and “bonding” social capital and formal and informal networks and their influence on migration processes. The theoretical part of the article is based on the related literature. Migration capital and migration networks are discussed on the basis of existing empirical research and the author’s own research carried out among Polish and German students and college graduates in the partner cities of Rzeszów and Bielefeld in 2010. Two conclusions deserve particular attention, the author says. First, it is difficult to thoroughly explain the significance and level of social capital and changes in the function of migration networks. After Poland joined the EU, the significance of migration networks, both formal and informal, increased. Second, the analysis confirms that substantial changes are taking place in migration processes. Due to their complexity and interdisciplinary nature, these changes require further examination, Barwińska-Małajowicz concludes.