Centre of Migration Research

Ewa Cichocka. 2021.

Awans, który dzieli pokolenia. Zmiana generacyjna w polskiej rodzinie w Niemczech

 

IFIS PAN

W “ZMIANA SPOŁECZNA, PANDEMIA, KRYZYS Konteksty empiryczne i teoretyczne” pod redakcją Andrejuk K., Grabowska I., Olcon-Kubicka M., Taranowicz I.

DOI: 10.37240/9788376831985.11


Abstract

The first generation of Polish migrants in Germany in the 1980s and 1990s sought to improve the economic situation of their families and tried to blend into German society. It was not until their descendants succeeded. They experienced the social advancement that their parents had expected of them. However, they were not prepared for the associated generational change, which means a transformation of cultural capital in the migrant family. This article presents an analysis of intergenerational transmission in Polish families in Germany based on autobiographical interviews with second-generation migrants. It explains why the efforts of the first generation to build a life on emigration did not translate into a happy family life. Nor did it bring such great material benefits that the first generation could pass on economic capital to their descendants. The strong point of Polish families turned out to be their social capital. The supportive role of grandmothers and other family members often proved invaluable. Paradoxically, the absence of parents gave their children a lot of freedom and free time to build their own networks of friends. The article also draws attention to the negative dimension of social capital in Polish families. It manifests itself in the limiting expectations and pressure exerted by the family on the second generation.
 

Keywords

second generation migrants, Poles in Berlin, cultural capital, social capital