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Social control in Polish communities in Ireland, UK and elswhere


MareGaea 29 | 2,752  
2 Apr 2008 /  #1
I was just wondering to which degree there is social control within the communities in Ireland, the UK and elsewhere outside Poland? I have some experiences with it, but how exactly does it affect ppl's behaviour?

M-G

Well?

M-G
miranda  
2 Apr 2008 /  #2
it is an intresting subject but you need to expand on what you mean by "social control". It is a sociological term and not everybody is familiar with it. Giving an example would be good way to initiating comments from others.

Good luck
OP MareGaea 29 | 2,752  
2 Apr 2008 /  #3
Ok, I noticed a bit of awkward behaviour in about half of my Polish friends: if I go out with them it is always on a 1-2-1 basis in a pub or a restaurant; they only come to parties with me if they have made sure there are no other Poles there and if there are, they make sure to check if they don't know them (what's their name? where do they work, etc). If there are other Poles living with them in one house, they never invite you over for a drink to their house and when they give a party they will never invite you - even if you are their friend. When you ask them, you get the (nearly standard by now) answer: "oh, you wouldn't like it, there were only my Polish friends". It sometimes seems they want to keep the Polish world apart from their other world. Now, don't get me wrong, not everybody does this, but I noticed this behaviour in quite some of the Polish friends I have; in fact, nearly half of them does it.

Could this be that they are embarrassed towards their Polish friends or relatives? Or are they afraid of what their Polish friends might say about the fact that they hang out with non-Polish ppl? And as I understand it, this is kind of an issue with some Polish ppl.

M-G
Kilkline 1 | 689  
2 Apr 2008 /  #4
It sometimes seems they want to keep the Polish world apart from their other world.

I know what you mean. Maybe they just relax better with people when speaking in their native tongue though. Sometimes foreigners can slow the conversation down.
sapphire 22 | 1,241  
2 Apr 2008 /  #5
I think you are exactly right that they want to keep things separate.. for whatever the reasons might be. I have exactly the same experience.
OP MareGaea 29 | 2,752  
2 Apr 2008 /  #6
they just relax better

Could be, or maybe they are afraid that you will be isolated when you are the only non-Polish person...But I also heard that Polish among eachother can be pretty back-stabbing in gossip and so on; could this also be a factor?

M-G
Kilkline 1 | 689  
2 Apr 2008 /  #7
Theres a lot thats frowned on amongst Poles but it doesnt seem to stop them doing what is forbidden. Therefore theres probably quite alot of gossip to be enjoyed.
z_darius 14 | 3,969  
2 Apr 2008 /  #8
I never felt any kind of social pressure. No more than I felt in Poland. But then, I am not the one to be pressured, and if someone doesn't like my ways, oh well, I'll be the first to tell them staying in my company is not compulsory.

As for the parties, I guess it'll depend. Sometimes, being a foreigner, not understanding the language and all the little social nuances that are common in various cultures you might feel more left out having been invited to the party than staying at home.
OP MareGaea 29 | 2,752  
2 Apr 2008 /  #9
As for the parties, I guess it'll depend. Sometimes, being a foreigner, not understanding the language and all the little social nuances that are common in various cultures you might feel more left out having been invited to the party than staying at home

I guess you're right - If you would be invited as the only non-Pole, you get an isolated feeling anyway: everybody's laughing about something and you don't know the hell they're laughing about. Is it about you or maybe about something that in your culture is perceived as not being funny at all. In all the most likely scenario would be that one would end up with a drink in the corner all alone amongst 50 ppl, with only now and then somebody coming up to you to ask you the same question in poor English everybody else has already asked you. Also it would present a kind of burden on the host/hostess as he or she would feel obliged to spend an uneven amount of time with you as he or she would be the only one that can converse with you about some shared experiences. In all, I do understand that.

Therefore theres probably quite alot of gossip to be enjoyed.

But that is weird: if I have a party with only Dutch ppl and there will be only one non-Dutch speaking person, the majority of the guests will revert to speaking English (true fact - I've seen this in nearly all the parties in which all the guest minus one were Dutch); among themselves with the non-Dutch not around, they of course will speak Dutch to eachother, but as soon as that person joins, conversation turns to English - that's imo just a matter of common courtesy. Therefore I cannot really understand why some ppl don't do this. It's not only the Poles that do this, also the Spanish, Italian and French are notorious for this. I appreciate the fact that ppl don't master the English language well, but at least an effort should be taken. But maybe that's just me.

M-G
plk123 8 | 4,150  
2 Apr 2008 /  #10
i think the main reason for this is that a foreigner wouldn't feel all that comfortable with all polish speak and all that. that's the only reason i sometimes exclude my non pl friends from my pl activities.
OP MareGaea 29 | 2,752  
2 Apr 2008 /  #11
Yeah, I've had that before actually with a Spanish friend of mine who invited me over to a party at his place. Minus two everybody was Spanish and although the music was good, I ended up having a headache (Spanish can be a very monotonous language to listen to ocasionally) to hearing Spanish all night long and trying to figure out what they were talking about.

M-G
osiol 55 | 3,922  
2 Apr 2008 /  #12
Does my flatmate never invite Polish girls round because he doesn't like to mix his Polish-life with his English-life?
miranda  
2 Apr 2008 /  #13
could be. I notice that Polish people are not aware of that behviour sometimes. I don't really want to generalize because I am not like that, however talking from experiance, the only time I really let my guard down is when I am with my family members or close friends, even though I am very sociable. I think it is the language barrier.
osiol 55 | 3,922  
2 Apr 2008 /  #14
He tried to invite a psychotic bloke from the temping agency round for a few drinks once. He was Polish. He really was a genuine psycho, so I said 'No. No. No. No. No. Nie. Never. Nigdy.' Perhaps he just doesn't know any Polish girls. Not in England anyway. I keep asking him to bring a few over from Poland.
miranda  
2 Apr 2008 /  #15
why would u need Polish girls Osiol (BTW, I left you a message on swearing thread - don't get offended)
Shawn_H  
2 Apr 2008 /  #16
why would u need Polish girls Osiol

I could think of a number of reasons...
osiol 55 | 3,922  
2 Apr 2008 /  #17
why would u need Polish girls Osiol

Partly to give a different perspective - I might learn a different kind of Polish.

I left you a message on swearing thread - don't get offended

Just found it, I almost don't understand a word of it.
miranda  
2 Apr 2008 /  #18
I could think of a number of reasons...

I am all ears

(you are soo lucky that the snow have melted away-finally, not that I care;)). I offically switched to Starbucks BTW;)
OP MareGaea 29 | 2,752  
2 Apr 2008 /  #19
I don't really want to generalize

Neither did I want to generalize. It's just that I noticed this behaviour in a lot of Polish ppl I know - others I know do invite a "mixed" company. And maybe you're right that they are not aware of that, and I do understand the reasons, but it may come across as rude sometimes and they must realise that they CAN offend (and sometimes even hurt) ppl with this behaviour, even though it might not be intended that way. I mean in a way like: ah, so I'm good enough to do this for you, but not good enough to have a party with? I'm just saying, if you catch my drift.

M-G
osiol 55 | 3,922  
2 Apr 2008 /  #20
"Oh no! You wouldn't be interested."
"Then why am I asking you?"
"You just wouldn't like it."
"How do you know?"

But keeping friends from different areas of your life is totally normal.
OP MareGaea 29 | 2,752  
2 Apr 2008 /  #21
But keeping friends from different areas of your life is totally normal.

Yeah, but excluding one group of friends from the goodies in your life is not.

M-G
miranda  
2 Apr 2008 /  #22
but it may come across as rude sometimes and they must realise that they CAN offend (and sometimes even hurt) ppl with this behaviour, even though it might not be intended that way.

I don't really think it is intended. Most of my family members in Poland are like that, even though they are genuine people - I think that they are just shy which is too bad, since some of them have so much to give.

I receantly have found a long lost family via Facebook in England. They were so happy to finally get some explanation about the places they originated from by contacting me. They are great a loving people. On the other hand my sister said: do not invite them to my place. She doesn't speak English, they don't speak Polish and I think that she is just afraid to be embarrassed, which is too bad, because she has no reasons.
osiol 55 | 3,922  
2 Apr 2008 /  #23
This evening, three of my workmates, including Batman and Robin have gone out again, and not invited me again. It would have been nice if someone had asked me along, even though the answer would inevitably have been thanks, but no.
miranda  
2 Apr 2008 /  #24
This evening, three of my workmates, including Batman and Robin have gone out again, and not invited me again.

and that is too bad Osiol, because if it was me, you would be invited. Why would you say NO?
osiol 55 | 3,922  
2 Apr 2008 /  #25
Because of the ****** who is neither Batman nor Robin.

I'll expand on that. Someone who moaned and moaned about having Polish people at work (anyone who can't speak much English really). Then complained that we emplyed Batman full time, then acts like his best mate even though his real problem is that he doesn't have any other mates... or social skills.
OP MareGaea 29 | 2,752  
2 Apr 2008 /  #26
don't really think it is intended

I didn't assume that it was, however if they would say that it would embarrass them, then the "other" ppl might understand. It's just different when you meet up with your friend on Monday and you ask him how his weekend was and he tells you he gave a party without any excuse or something. In my book that is just plain rude, they have to understand that too. It's give and take. Although I know (and as I already mentioned earlier in this thread) that it is not really fun to be on a party where you don't speak the language of all the others there and just occasionally get asked the same question by different ppl over and over again in poor English. Then you feel alone amongst dozens of ppl and you might have better stayed at home. I realise it must be awkward for both parties. But if the one who does give the party doesn't explain why he did not invite you, it just comes across as rude and disrespectful. It happened to me a few times and I have to admit I felt a bit offended each time it happened whereas I would not have been if the person just would've explained.

M-G
miranda  
2 Apr 2008 /  #27
Partly to give a different perspective - I might learn a different kind of Polish.

for sure. It might take time, but since you are such an interesting person, the right person will turn up eventually:)
for sure

Then complained that we emplyed Batman full time, then acts like his best mate even though his real problem is that he doesn't have any other mates... or social skills.

then I don't blame you for decling their non-existing offer.
plk123 8 | 4,150  
2 Apr 2008 /  #28
Does my flatmate never invite Polish girls round because he doesn't like to mix his Polish-life with his English-life?

nah, he's just gay. hehehe
isthatu 3 | 1,164  
2 Apr 2008 /  #29
HHHmmm, sorta half n half in my experiance.Have worked with Poles living over here and experienced exactly what MG,Saphirre and others have,ie ,no probs if its me and one or 2 Poles,but if im the only non Pole,frozen out. But,on the other hand,Ive been to many a pish up with Poles where I have been the only non Pole and only one or 2 can speak English,but these are Poles who came over to Britain for short visits at historical events etc .
szkotja2007 27 | 1,500  
2 Apr 2008 /  #30
Social control or social conditioning ?

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