Unfulfilled intentions: family narratives of non-migration and next generations’ migration intentions and behaviour


The project aims at answering the question if and, if yes, how migration intentions of the older generation unrealised in the past due to a narrow opportunity structure may influence migration intentions and behaviour of younger generations. We assume that stories about the past unfulfilled emigration intentions and the concomitant narratives about the attractiveness (or quite the opposite) of departure abroad may cause that migration intentions are subject to intergenerational transmission. This may in turn translate into migration behaviour of members of younger generations, when the mobility restrictions are lifted.

Within a comparative case study, we plan to conduct in-depth interviews with members of families who resided in communist Poland/Soviet Russia before 1989/1991 and experienced involuntary immobility. In this project, we want to investigate what kind of narratives (if any) concerning unrealised emigration have been present in families whose members attempted to go abroad but their mobility aspirations were stifled by the restrictive political regime, which made them abandon their emigration plans. We will seek to learn how this might have affected migration intentions and decisions of younger generations.


2021 - 2023

Source of funding

“Excellence Initiative – Research University” Programme (IDUB), Priority Research Area V (POB V), „New Ideas”