Better Migrants, Worse Migrants: Young, Educated Poles Look at New Incomers to Poland
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This article concerns select aspects of social perceptions and categorizations of foreigners settling in Poland. The core of this work is an analysis of a series of qualitative interviews conducted with young, educated residents of Warsaw. Herein the authors draw attention to a significant change in the consciousness of Polish society: a recognition of the permanent presence of migrants in Poland as well as discernment of the sociocultural problems associated with that presence. In the eyes of our interlocutors, the past two decades have been a time in which the attitude of Poles towards incoming aliens has shifted. Influencing opinions have been personal or familial experiences of emigration, particularly after the 2004 accession of Poland into the European Union. Also affecting attitudes have been an immigration wave from Ukraine as well as the tangible consequences of the 2015 migrant crisis. On the one hand, all these factors together have caused Poland to be seen today as not only an emigration, but also an immigration country. On the other hand, these have also provoked a conscious classification of various categories of migrants with regards to their geographic and cultural background along with the roles they might possibly fill in this country.
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