Intergenerational transfers and life strategies of second-generation immigrants: Polish immigrant families in Berlin


The aim of the research is to analyse intergenerational transfers of capitals between the first and the second generation of Polish immigrants in Germany. This study will capture different types of life strategies that second-generation immigrants embrace in German society. In the study, I will trace the process of growing up in an immigrant family set in a multicultural city and embedded in transnational (Polish-German) connections with Poland.

The study will focus on the first and second generation of Polish immigrants living in Berlin. By the second-generation immigrants of Polish origin, I understand people who were born in Germany or immigrated there at an early stage, i.e. before starting education. Basic socialization of second generation took place in the country of immigration (Schneider 2016). The second generation of interest to this study will be the adult descendants of Poles who immigrated to Germany in the 1980s and 1990s, largely for economic reasons.

The main research question:

-How first-generation immigrants’ (parents) capital resources shape life strategies of second-generation immigrants (children)?

Additional research questions:

– What types of life strategies of the second generation can be distinguished?
– What are the intergenerational transfers (including transfers of social, cultural and economic capital) between the first and second generation, and between second and first generation in Polish immigrant families in Berlin?

– How does the non-family environment (friends, school, work) influence life strategies of the second- generation immigrants?


2019 - 2021

Source of funding

National Science Centre