IDENTITY AND MIGRATION TO AND FROM POLAND, 1944-1950
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Typologies of migration often consist of fixed dichotomies such as coerced versus voluntary forms of migration and labour migrants versus refugees. Yet, motives for migration typically include a combination of factors providing for considerable overlap that render a dichotomous approach misleading. This is true even with regard to migration occasioned by a crisis and political decisions as in the case of migration to and from Poland following World War II. Beginning with the premise that all human behaviour is constrained, A.H. Richmond's paradigm of migration ranging from a proactive decision made with the greatest amount of autonomy to a reactive decision with the least amount of autonomy suggests a way to overcome simplistic dichotomies. Even in the case of mass expellees, those whose migration had the least autonomy, many made an autonomous decision to migrate prior to being subjected to physical force. Because of the emphasis on identity as a basis for migration, those who changed their identity as a basis for migration - German citizens of Polish origin or Polish citizens of Jewish origin - exercised the most autonomy.
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