„There Is No Bad Weather There Are Only Wrong Clothes”, Determinants of Quality of Life and Well-Being Among Polish Migrants in Norway

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 09:50
Oral Presentation
Magdalena ZADKOWSKA, University of Gdansk, Poland
Economic migration from Poland to Norway is a relatively new trend that has intensified immensely after Poland joined the European Union in 2004. Polish migrants have been the largest immigrant community in Norway since 2009.

The presented sociological research is carried out in two regions: Pomerania and Rogaland. This design leads us to obtain very precise image of Polish labour migration to Norway and to depict differences between two similar groups.

In our research, among other topics, we have analyzed the changes in everyday-life choices made by men and women when dealing with domestic duties division and work-life balance. 280 in-depth interviews were conducted with forty Polish couples. The results obtained show the dynamics of quality of life changes fostered by migration experience including integration and acculturation processes.

Polish migrants in Norway have much more free time then Polish couples in Poland. They use it to have family quality time, to stay fit, to develop own plans and dreams. They feel less fatigue. They claim they have enough money, they have access to recreation, they do not feel discrimination nor because of their nationality, nor age nor gender.

Additionally sport and physical activity as a means of transmission of cultural patterns and a significant en in the acculturation of migrants (Berry 1996). The aim of the paper are:

- to show how joining physical and sports activities which are widely popular in the host society in fact means joining the mainstream of its culture.

- to show intercultural gaps and misunderstandings leading to separation strategy (Berry 1996). Consequently the statements of the interviewees should be understood in a broader context referring not only to participation in Norwegian culture, but also to shaping the quality of life and well-being of Poles living abroad and to have their subjective evaluation regarding them.