Tracing the journey of cross-cultural adaptation of Polish migrant women in Ireland - a process of creating home when home is away.
Storch, Katharina (2008) Tracing the journey of cross-cultural adaptation of Polish migrant women in Ireland - a process of creating home when home is away. PhD thesis, Dublin City University.
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This study traces the journey of cross-cultural adaptation of Polish migrant women in Ireland, which turns out to be a process of creating home when home is away, and which results in individual identity transformations, both positive and negative. It is based on 30 in-depth interviews, which were collected in the larger Dublin area, and which present a range of experiences of female Polish migration to Ireland. To explore this new form of East-West migration, this study draws on several theories from the field of intercultural studies and includes others from the social sciences to interpret findings. To allow for the exploration of various theories in different fields and the emergence of new or deeper interpretations of intercultural experiences, this study adopted a Grounded Theory approach to collecting and analysing data, detached from preconceived hypotheses. The synergy of data and theoretical concepts to interpret data finally led to the development of an individual model of cross-cultural adaptation that is specific for the women in this study.
Equipped with different levels of preparation, pre-knowledge and pre- experience as well as motivated by various push and pull factors and the overall lure of a full life in the host country, a number of factors affect this process of cross-cultural adaptation. These include perceived similarities and differences between home and host culture, the availability of and access to new and existing social networks, language issues, and different acculturation strategies by both migrant women and members of the host culture. Together, these factors have an effect on the process of cross-cultural adaptation, which includes compromising cultural practices and values, and consequently results in a transformation of Polish migrant women’s original identity and the development of a larger intercultural identity involving a feeling of betweenness of living between two cultures.
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