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Research on Identity of Poles in Britain

katya89 1 | 1  
15 Jul 2008 /  #1
I'm currently researching for my dissertation which is based on the Polish community in London. Im looking at the Polish culture in London (Hammersmith) and how Poles (do or do not) use this in constructing their identity. Do you call yourself polish or british? what do you think of the british culture?

If anyone has any advise for how i can carry out my research, it would be much appreciated!

WooPee 1 | 124  
15 Jul 2008 /  #2
I'm not living in UK, but I've been there for a couple of weeks as tourist and spoke to many immigrants from all over England and Wales during that time.

Well, I think most of Poles still call themselves Poles. Most of them came for some period of time, like 1, 2, 5 years. Some of them for better job or studies, some of them were just looking for some new adventures. Also, I think many of them will stay and become British one day. It's really easy to fall in love in Great Britain.. ;)

You ask about culture aspect.. I asked about it once. I think most of them don't know British culture at all. Actually it's hard to find it on the streets. Most of them are busy people who work hard, shopping, going to the pub or cinema at evnings and don't really know a lot about British folk culture.

Comparing to Ireland or Germany, I think there's lack of integration programmes / festivals for newcomers in United Kingdom.. But that's my private opinion.

If anyone has any advise for how i can carry out my research, it would be much appreciated!

I think that the best way to find out the answer for your question is ask your Polish friends, then you will get the answers from the first hand.
plk123 8 | 4,150  
15 Jul 2008 /  #3
many poles tend not to integrate into other sicieties very well. some do however.

i'm polish although i have lived in the USA for a long, long time. i'll always be polish unless the PL gov. pisses me off bad enough for me to drop my citizenship. almost happened once.
Andrew78 - | 97  
15 Jul 2008 /  #4
Hi plk123
where do u live in AMERICA.I used to live in Chicago,but now in Uk(london).
OP katya89 1 | 1  
15 Jul 2008 /  #5
Thanks woopee. The problem however is that I am not Polish, and don't actually know any Poles.
15 Jul 2008 /  #6
don't actually know any Poles.

Then you'd better get out there and meet some!

Out of interest, why have you chosen this for your subject?

You won't find many Poles anywhere who call themselves anything other than "Polish".

The majority of Polish people in Britain are new to the country having only moved here within the last four years (since joining the EU). The Polish people I know here consider themselves Polish only. Maybe in time they will take on British citizenships if they choose to make lives here but they will probably still consider themselves Polish. A Polish person with US citizenship may be called Polish American or American Pole, but I don't know of any title like this in Britain.

There is a few posts written in the forums here about how the Polish feel about British culture so you could trawl through a bit of that. (Use the search function).

A lot of Polish people in Britain tend to live and socialise with other Polish people so perhaps don't experience "British culture" to the degree you'd expect.

I should add that this is going to be a very difficult subject for you if you don't know any Polish people or have any idea about their culture. A lot of the opinions on the forums will conflict and that could just leave you confused.

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