Mixed marriages and “gender assymetry”. Patterns of integration and socioeconomic mobility of immigrants in Poland and the United Kingdom


The aim of the project is to recognize and examine possible interconnections between social dimension of integration and socioeconomic mobility that is perceived by immigrants who contracted marriages with citizens of the host countries as changes in their achieved social and economic status as well occupational position in both sending and host countries. Integration will be considered referring to its social dimension in which social connections with members of other communities, social bonds within one’s own community and social links with institutions are taken into consideration as well placement of immigrants in social structures.

The project will also allow to identify dimensions of transnational engagements and connections of immigrants and their families and reveal how these are played out at social level of immigrants integration and processes connected with their socioeconomic mobility. Transnational engagement is understood here as different connections and ties (i.e. family, economic, social) that link immigrants original country with their new country or countries of residence and that cross different nation-state boundaries. Furthermore, research will enable to analyse institutional factors such as naturalization procedures, immigration and integration policies on the patterns of mixed marriages. The main research objective of the project is the verification of the hypothesis that marriage with a citizen of the host country is considered by female migrants as a form of upward socioeconomic mobility with reference to both their sending and host countries while for men it’s a form of horizontal mobility which means a change in position without the change in socioeconomic status. The analyses will be conducted in comparative perspective on two groups of immigrants: 1) from former USRR, who are the largest groups of foreigners coming to Poland and married to Polish citizens and 2) from Poland who emigrated to the United Kingdom and contracted marriages with British citizens.

Fulfilling the postulate of triangulating methods and research techniques a quantitative and a qualitative studies are planned for this project. Project will encompass an analysis of elements of Polish, British and European Union legal regulations that refer to contracting mixed marriage with citizens of host countries. In order to define socio-demographic characteristics of immigrants who contracted mixed marriages a quantitative secondary data analysis is planned. The exploratory qualitative study will be conducted with the usage of biographical interviews with immigrants from the former USRR in Poland and immigrants from Poland in the United Kingdom, who contracted marriages with citizens of the host countries. The study will employ life story method. The interpretation of the results will be complemented and enriched by the results of an analysis of web resources including blogs, web forums and online social networking services for immigrants from Poland in the United Kingdom.

The results of the research project within the framework of the comparative field study will enrich and deepen the description and understanding of integration of the largest group of immigrants in Poland as well immigrants from Poland in the UK who constitute the most important post-accession migration flow and visible group of settled immigrants in Great Britain. What is more, the results of the research will contribute to the discussion on the modern concepts of mobility.


2015 - 2017

Source of funding

National Science Center, PRELUDIUM