Negotiating long-distance caring relations: Migrants in the UK and their families in Poland.
Edward Elgar Publishing. | pages: s. 154–169.
Since the 2004 EU enlargement, Poles migrating to the UK enjoyed freedom of movement and settlement rights as EU citizens. Cheap and easy travel as well as communication technologies facilitated the development of transnational family practices, including virtual co-presence, frequent visits and periods of stay for care purposes. New restrictions on mobility following Britain’s exit from the EU (Brexit) and the COVID-19 pandemic have hindered travel to and from Poland. Such restrictions, as well as future ‘unsettling events’, are likely to impact Polish migrants’ ability to rely on grandparental childcare and provide ‘hands-on’ care for their ageing parents, hitting hardest the most the economically vulnerable. Drawing on new empirical data, we signal how migrants negotiate their current care arrangements and envisage solutions to future care needs. In so doing, despite advances in communication technologies, we call attention to the enduring salience of propinquity especially in terms of hands-on care.
transnational families, care visits, grandparents, social networks, Brexit, COVID-19