Centre of Migration Research

Michał P. Garapich. 2016.

‘I Don’t Want This Town to Change’: Resistance, Bifocality and the Infra-Politics of Social Remittances


Central and Eastern European Migration Review, Vol. 5, No. 2, 2016 | pages: 155-166

Link: Central and Eastern European Migration Review, Vol. 5, No. 2, 2016, pp. 155-166


The process of social remitting is complex and multilayered, and involves numerous social actors that at each stage face several choices. By definition, the process of socially remitting ideas, codes of behaviour and practices starts with the migrants themselves and their social context in the destination country. This paper focuses on the as yet unexplored issue of resistance performed and articulated by migrants confronted with potential change influenced by social remittances and the generalised process of diffusion. Faithful to the understanding of social remittances as ultimately a process where individual agency is the crucial determinant, the article follows the ideas, practices and values travelling across the transnational social field between Britain and various localities in Poland. Resistance to change and new ways of doing things is a continuous dialogical process within one culture’s power field, which is understood here in anthropological terms as a porous, open-ended field of competing meanings and discourses. Notions of bifocality, infra-politics of power relations and resistance are an important aspect of remittances and their reinterpretations, and resistance to social remittances by migrants, both in their destinations and in their communities of origin, is a crucial component of the whole process without which our understanding of remittances is incomplete


social remittances; resistance; Polish migration; agency; change