Małgorzata Budyta-Budzyńska. 2013.

Strategie adaptacyjne Polaków w czasie islandzkiego kryzysu finansowego 2008-2010

 

CMR Working Paper, Nr 66(124)


Abstract

Until the fall of 2008, Iceland was described as a prosperous nation, with a very high standard of living. The island's favourable economic situation and the opening in 2006 of the labour market to nationals of the new member states of the European Union caused a large flow of Polish immigrants into the country, where they soon became the largest ethnic group apart from the natives. Iceland's economic situation underwent a dramatic change in 2008, with the onset of the financial crisis. This, however, did not trigger any massive outflow of Poles from the island. The present work is a report on a sociological study, conducted among Polish immigrants in Reykjavik in April and May of 2010. In the first part of the work we describe the origins and phases of Iceland's crisis and the economic and social consequences of the financial collapse. In the second part we present the theoretical and methodological bases of this investigation. In the third part, based on our research, we reconstruct the adaptation strategies used by Polish immigrants during the economic crisis. In spite of suffering a higher unemployment rate than native Icelanders, Poles in Iceland coped rather well with this time and paradoxically, many of them were less affected by the economic downturn than most of the natives, mainly as a result of their more traditional economic behaviour. As a result of the crisis, part of the Polish diaspora in Iceland began a transformation from temporary settlement to permanent.
 

Keywords

migration, Iceland, financial crisis, adaptation strategies