Accepted paper:

Polish migrants' leisure mobility: the role of tourism and recreation in the making of polyvalent identities


Anna Horolets (University of Warsaw)

Paper short abstract:

Migrants’ leisure mobility choices - though limited - contain the potential of change through the logic of “motion and emotion”. The embodied experience of crossing boundaries – including those of imagination – makes travel the potential locum for the changes in migrants’ identities.

Paper long abstract:

Migrants' leisure, including leisure mobility, is a relatively understudied area. In the paper I suggest that it deserves more attention. Migrants' leisure mobility choices are, on the one hand, limited by temporal/spatial, social, cultural (e.g. language competencies) and economic constraints. On the other hand, however, travel contains the potential of change through the logic of "motion and emotion". The embodied experience of crossing ethnic, cultural, social boundaries - as well as the boundaries of one's own imagination - is what makes leisure mobility the potential locum for the changes in migrants' identities and feelings of belonging. Focusing on the materials from the ethnographic study of the first-generation post-2004 Polish migrants to West Midlands, UK, carried out in 2010 and 2011, I suggest to examine if and how leisure mobility participate in identity building processes. I will pay particular attention to three types of leisure mobility: VFR (visiting friends and relatives), short-term breaks abroad (outside of the UK and Poland) and recreational mobility to theme parks and aqua parks. I will aim at demonstrating how these types of travel are linked to ethnic and class identity construction among migrants.

panel MMM17
Migration, culture and identity construction