Only a mouse click away from home: transnational practices of Eastern European migrants in the United Kingdom

Metykova, Monika (2010) Only a mouse click away from home: transnational practices of Eastern European migrants in the United Kingdom. Social Identities, 16 (3). pp. 325-338. ISSN 1350-4630

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Abstract

In May 2004 the European Union was enlarged by ten new member states, eight of these were countries from the former Communist bloc. Between May 2004 and May 2006 the citizens of so-called EU8 countries (Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovak Republic and Slovenia) enjoyed full worker mobility in only three ‘old’ EU member states, the Republic of Ireland, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Following EU enlargement, migrant workers from EU8 countries as well as their dependants have been arriving in the United Kingdom. In December 2007 almost 800,000 workers from EU8 countries were registered on the government’s worker registration scheme. This article is concerned with the transnational practices of migrants from EU8 countries who have arrived in the UK following EU enlargement, in particular with everyday transnational practices that involve the use of a variety of media. The experiences of transnational migrants involve connections between former and new (sometimes temporary) homelands. The role of media, in particular satellite television, has been studied in a transnational context. However, satellite broadcasting has not been embraced by migrants from EU8 countries to any extent, rather they rely on a range of media and practices that enable them to be connected to two or more national contexts. Migrants interviewed for this research have proved to be avid and highly skilled users of digital media in particular, they access newspapers, magazines and films online, use Skype to make calls, post photographs on social networking sites and even check online images of their home towns in Eastern Europe on a daily basis. The article explores the implications of these transnational practices in relation to migrants’ identities and belonging as well as political participation. The data analyzed in the article was collected in in-depth qualitative interviews with 20 recently (post-May 2004) arrived migrants from EU8 countries in London, Edinburgh and Newcastle. The interviews were conducted in winter 2006 and summer 2007.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Media, Film and Music > Media and Film
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics > P0087 Communication. Mass media
Depositing User: Monika Metykova
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2012 10:53
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2012 11:39
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/39527
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