ZOBOWIĄZANIA RODZINNE I DYNAMIKA WYKLUCZENIA W TRANSNARODOWEJ PRZESTRZENI SPOŁECZNEJ. POLACY W ISLANDII I ICH STARZY RODZICE W POLSCE
FAMILY RESPONSIBILITIES AND THE DYNAMICS OF EXCLUSION IN TRANSNATIONAL SOCIAL SPACE. POLES IN ICELAND AND THEIR ELDERLY PARENTS IN POLAND
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The purpose of this article is to answer the question: how and to what extent it is possible to care for the elderly in the context of Polish migration. The theoretical perspective on which I have based the analysis of the empirical data is the concept of transnationalism. According to this approach, migrants not only stay in touch with their relatively immobile members of the family in their native country, but they also actively take part in their everyday life, e.g. in their elderly parents' lives. The strategy of the empirical re¬search is based on two assumptions. Firstly, I assume that geographical proximity and distance are the scale which determines various forms of intergenerational relations including taking care of the elderly. Migration changes the shape of these relations, but it does not exclude them. Secondly, the socio-cultural system of the host society and its institutional solutions concerning the policy aimed at the elderly significantly determine the changing attitudes of migrants towards the dominant patterns of caring for the elderly, but not towards practice. The research in which both qualitative and quantitative research techniques were used, was being carried out in Iceland within the period of three months (August to November 2010). The main conclusion which can be drown from the research is that the geographical distance is an important but not the key component determining taking or not taking up the practice of caring for elderly parents. Adult children living together with their parents and close and far distance are scales which determine different possibilities and forms of caring for the elderly. Although after the economic crisis in 2008 the financial situation of migrants in Iceland is very difficult, the support provided by the migrants is very intensive. The research shows the mechanism of compensation for the lack of frequent personal contact and diminishing having a guilty feeling because of "leaving" the parents.
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