Socio-cultural effects of seasonal migration for local societies: Case of Poland and Germany



The purpose of the project is to capture social, cultural and psychological effects of seasonal migration in the immediate social environment of migrants. Regarding historical continuity and its range, Polish seasonal migration to Western Europe, especially to Germany constitutes perfect research opportunity. Assumption was made that results of migration are changes in everyday functioning of social worlds, networks, places, strategies and identifications. Impact of migration and its experience on social and spatial cultures of everyday world led to changes which may eventually create a “culture of migration”. In this research the attempt is made to apply the „culture of migration” into the area of Central Europe, which till today was referred mainly to non-European territories and permanent form of migration.

Qualitative methods of social research with focus on ethnographic fieldwork constitute a base for this project. In order for the transnational perspective to have a glimpse of the actors’ activities in sending as well as receiving communities, fieldwork will be conducted in both places. Within a framework of participant observation the actors – as long as feasible- will be accompanied in their everyday life. The interviews held during the fieldwork include informal interviews, semi-structured interviews with key-informants and semi-structured interviews with seasonal migrants. In the period of at least twelve months the fieldwork will be conducted in different villages and towns in Poland with relatively high percentage of seasonal migrants in the overall working-age population as well as participant observation in Germany, in places which receive large proportion of Polish seasonal workers.


2009 - 2011

Source of funding

Deutsch-Polnische Wissenschaftsstiftung


Bielefeld University (Germany) – Faculty od Sociology, (Centre of Migration, Citizenship and Development – (COMCAD)