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Centre of Migration Research

Anita Brzozowska. 2018.

Social Anchoring in Class-Ethnic Identities and Integration of Polish and Ukrainian Migrants


Studia Migracyjne - Przegląd Polonijny, 2018(XLIV), nr 1(167)



Th e article presents the analysis of posts published in social media by Polish migrants settled in the United Kingdom and Ukrainian migrants in Poland. Th e paper uses the concept of social anchoring defi ned as the process of searching for points of reference (anchors) which allow individuals to acquire socio-psychological stability and security and function eff ectively in a new life environment. Th e research showed the role of objective anchors such as employment, economic resources and institutional environment of the destination country as well as the crucial role of anchors embedded in social relations. Migrants from both analysed groups anchored themselves in strategically-imagined communities while constructing their ethnic and class identities that became their points of references in the new socio-cultural environment. In the narratives of Polish migrants in the UK the main reference groups are white, British citizens on one side and members of non-European minorities on the other. At the same time Polish migrants emphasize class and educational diff erences among the Polish community in the UK. In the case of the Ukrainian migrants in Poland the main reference group consists of members of the Polish, homogenous society. Th ey also construct their identities with reference to European values. Th e research showed that in narratives of both analysed groups a pro-integration attitude is preferred.


Social Anchoring, Migrants, Integration, Ukrainian Migrants, Polish Migrants, Identity, Social Media