Too Week or Too Strong Social Bonds? the Narratives of Migrants on Feeling Alienated

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 15:15
Location: Seminar 34 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Joanna BIELECKA-PRUS, Maria Curie-Sklodowska University (UMCS), Poland
For the XIX sociologists alienation was linked to the disappearance of traditional social bonds, the disintegration of traditional structures, and anomie (Comte, Toennis, Durkheim, Weber) analyzed “from above”. Alienation from the perspective of the individual is the result of dissonance felt by the individual between his own self-identity and the identities attributed to her/him by the social environment, the difficulty in building social bonds, and this problem often appears in the analysis of social exclusion (based on race, age, gender). For the analysis of link alienation-anomie it could be fruitful to research  the case of a stranger-migrant. It is a figure located in-between, with the weak links that connected her/him with the host society, and sometimes too strong relationships with the sending country and/or other strangers- migrants. How is the feeling of being alienated associated with strong social networks? What makes difficult to build those networks? What types of alienation emerge from the analysis of social ties? How the neoliberal discourses of individual achievements influence the feeling of being alien? The basis for answering these questions will be 15 narrative interviews with migrants who have just arrived to Poland. On the one hand I will try to build the typology of subjective ways of experiencing alienation in various areas of social life and strategies for dealing with anomic vacuum in a situation liminal transition between cultures and societies, on the other hand I will analyze networks, which connect the subjects with other members of the community, the types of the networks and their power.