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Centre of Migration Research

Kamila Fiałkowska. 2018.

Negotiating masculinities: Polish male migrants in the UK – insights from an intersectional perspective


Nordic Journal for Masculinity Studies, DOI: 10.1080/18902138.2018.1533270


The relationship between masculinity and migration is attracting growing academic attention. However, the scope for investigation is vast, given the fact that in the existing research the gender–migration nexus has to date been largely female and/or family oriented. In the context of emigration from Poland after 2004, a plethora of studies concerning Polish migrants has discussed female- and family-related issues, and as a result, less is known about the specific experience of male migrants. The paper addresses this gap; drawing upon 20 biographical interviews with Polish men in the UK and five with Polish community workers, it provides an insight into negotiations in the sphere of masculinity. Applying an intersectional perspective, it discusses how certain aspects of their social identities turn from assets into downsides. Finally, it shows how some of their narratives about their experience of living in Britain are tied to Polish gender ideology. The paper contributes to the research stream on the variety of masculinities practices in migration from the CEE region and adds to the discussion on how gender practices and ideals are practiced and negotiated in the new settings.


Polish migration, masculinity, difference, intersectionality, gender

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