CONSTRUCTIONS AROUND BODY WITHIN RECENT POLISH MIGRATION TO THE UNITED KINGDOM
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This article focuses on the constructions around body as gendered and sexualised within recent migration of Poles to the United Kingdom (UK). Poles migrate, as it appears, from an environment in Poland characterised by more conservative views on gender and sexuality to a more liberal environment in the UK. This article uses the feminist perspective and examines the influence of this migration on discourses around body and its potential to liberate conservative discourses. It also utilizes intersectionality framework as lens to examine issues around body and analyses how specific social categories such as gender and sexuality, seen as ‘social processes’, simultaneously influence construction of these issues (Nash 2008). This article uses internet forum discussions as data. Different views on body were identified through the analysis and it was found that debates contained a mixture of nationalist, patriarchal, conservative and liberal attitudes. The nationalist discourse is dominant in Poland and this analysis showed that this discourse in a way “travelled” with migrants. However, counter-discourses were created in the process such as the liberal one, which gives women choice in relation to their lives and does not prescribe strict gender and sexual roles. This article showed how bodies are becoming ‘gendered’ and sexualised within migration space (Jackson and Scott 2001). The analysis demonstrated that gender and sexual ideologies and environments have a great impact on people’s views on body, particularly on women’s bodies. It also demonstrated that gender and sexual ideologies and practices are negotiated and reshaped as part of the migration process (McIlwaine et al 2006; Datta et al 2008), where different views on gender and sexuality as well of intersections of these with ethnicity come into play.
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