INFLUENCES ON INTEGRATION: EXPLORING POLISH PEOPLE’S VIEWS OF OTHER ETHNIC COMMUNITIES
Languages of publication
Researchers interested in integration have cautioned against ignoring issues of difference and inequality between groups in society. Research about the effects of contact between people from different ethnic communities suggests that outcomes can be mixed. Moreover, recent tensions about ‘British’ jobs have suggested the need to address competition between groups. In this paper I explore results from ESRC funded research with people who describe themselves as Polish and focus on views about people from other ethnic communities. I begin with an examination of the different ways in which being Polish was defined, who was seen as ‘other’ and discuss the significance of contestations over ethnicity. I examine the different ways in which people defined integration, discuss positive and negative views about members of other ethnic communities and then go on to examine the ways in which these views influenced the kinds of contacts people established. I suggest that assumptions about the values of people from other ethnic communities affected decisions about integration. Perceptions of other ethnic communities, including English ones, were also ascriptions of gender and class and challenge any simplistic notion of community or integration.
Publication order reference