Social remittances in the EU

Full title: Cultural diffusion through social remittances between Poland and UK

2012-2015 [funded by National Science Center Harmonia Research Program]

Aims of the project

  1. An identification of social resources which may be considered as social remittances (everything which goes beyond money) of contemporary migrants from Poland to the UK both on individual and on collective levels
  2. A reconstruction of mechanisms of transfer, diffusion and meaning of social remittances from abroad in sending location
  3. A role of social remittances in social and political life of local communities
  4. Costs and benefits analysis of social remittances from abroad in Poland.


  1. Three local communities have been selected in Poland with their transnational links in the UK: small towns around 12 thousands inhabitants, with different migration tradition/emigration history and culture; different historical background (partitions of Poland of 18th and 19th century); different distance to the Western border; different levels of industrialization.
  1. Inhabitants of all three sampled locations have been interviewed both in Poland and in the UK (not the same people). Contacts to respondents were generated from both sides. There has been a constant informative, theoretical and logistical dialogue between field researchers in Poland and UK ensuring mapping out transnational fields spanning between locations in Poland and the UK. The sampling procedure was based on targeting respondents in and from above mentioned locations. This means 40 in-depth interviews per location: 20 in-depth interviews in destination community and 20 in-depth interviews in origin community (including migrants, informants, migrants’ significant others) and panel interviews with key migrants and members of their network of contacts. Altogether we conducted 150 in-depth interviews.
  1. Longitudinal qualitative panel approach related to returning to local communities three times within the span of 12-18 months: firstly, with ethnographic screening and selection of respondents, secondly, with in-depth narrative interviews with migrants (both in Poland and in the UK) and local informants (in Poland) and thirdly, with funnel approach narrative interviews with key migrant agents (both in Poland and in the UK) and the members of their networks of contacts.

Project team
Izabela Grabowska, PI
Michal Garapich, Univeristy of Roehampton, London, institutional partner
Ewa Jazwinska, methodologist and senior researcher
Agnieszka Radziwinowicz, PhD candidate, research assistant
Justyna Sarnowska, PhD candidate, junior researcher

Publications by Izabela Grabowska connected to the project:

White A., Grabowska I. (2019). Social Remittances and Social Change in Central and Eastern Europe Embedding Migration in the Study of SocietyCentral and Eastern European Migration Review, 8(1): 33-50.

Grabowska I. (2018). Social skills, workplaces and social remittances: A case of post-accession migrants. Work, Employment and Society, 32(5): 868-886.

White A., Grabowska I., Kaczmarczyk P., Slany K. (2018). The Impact of Migration on Poland. London: UCL Press [open access], available PDF.

okładka książki




Grabowska I., Garapich M.P., Jazwinska E., Radziwinowicz A. (2017). Migrants as Agents of Change. Social remittances in an enlarged European Union. Basingstoke, London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Grabowska I., Sarnowska J. (2017). Transnarodowe wielostanowiskowe jakościowe badanie powtórzone w migrujących społecznościach lokalnych, Przegląd Socjologii Jakościowej,13(3), 6-28 .

Jaźwińska E., Grabowska I. (2017). Efekty społecznych przekazów migracyjnych (social remittances) w polskich społecznościach lokalnych, Studia Socjologiczne (1), 139-165, ISSN 0039−3371.

Grabowska I., Garapich M.P. (2016) (eds.). Special Issue: Social Remittances and Central and Eastern Europe: New Theoretical Angles and Empirical LandscapesCentral and Eastern European Migration Review, 5(2).

Grabowska I., Engbersen G. (2016). Social Remittances and the Impact of Temporary Migration on an EU Sending Country: The Case of Poland, Central and Eastern European Migration Review 5(2), 99-117.

Grabowska I., Garapich M.P. (2016). Social remittances and intra-EU mobility: Non-financial transfers between UK and Poland, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 42(13),  2146-2162.

Grabowska-Lusińska I. Jaźwińska E., (2014). Transfer jawnych i ukrytych komponentów kapitału ludzkiego poprzez migracje, in: Lesińska, K. Slany, B. Solga, M. Okólski (eds.) Dekada członkostwa Polski w UE. Społeczne skutki emigracji Polaków po 2004 roku, KBnM PAN; Warszawa: Wydawnictwa Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego, 169-190.

Institution and source of funding

National Science Centre Poland (Harmonia Programme), international cooperation between Centre of Migration Research, University of Warsaw and University of Roehampton, London

















Doroczne Seminarium Osrodka Badan nad Migracjami Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego,

Referat: Grabowska-Lusinska I., Jazwinska E., Radziwinowicz A., Garapich M. (2013). Dyfuzja kulturowa poprzez migracyjne przekazy społeczne pomiędzy Polską i Wielką Brytanią – wstępne ustalenia z badań, referat wygłoszony podczas Seminarium Dorocznego Ośrodka Badań nad Migracjami Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego, Bobrowa Dolina, 20 września, maszynopis.