← ESA 2015 homepage

Active Ageing


Wed 26. 8.  18:00 - 19:30
room FA 203

'Active ageing' in transnational social spaces. Social remittances in transnational networks of Polish migrants


Krzyżowski, Łukasz
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany

Activity among the elderly is perceived by Polish migrants as one of the most differentiating attitudes which distinguish Polish society from British and German societies. Based on TRANSFORmIG’s first wave qualitative interviews (N=130) conducted in Germany, the UK and Poland, the paper considers transfers of socio-cultural practices related to the notion of ‘active ageing’ in transnational social spaces. The paper investigates transfers of practices that constitute the notion of ‘active ageing’ in transnational social networks and reactions to them among non-migrant members of the networks. The “Polish case” is instructive because of the differential context between Poland’s relatively culturally homogenous society and the comparatively heterogeneous (in terms, for example, of ethnicity, religion but also life-styles of elderly people) British and German societies. For people who have migrated from more homogeneous settings (such as Poland), it might be surprising that social practices of old people in UK or Germany are different than in the country of origin (Poland). The ‘surprise effect’ may have an influence on migrants’ practices, ideas, and norms identities (Levitt 1998, 2001, 2013), all of which might be transferred transnationally via social networks changing Polish old age culture(s). Research confirms that migrants sustain intense communication with their family members in Poland who change social practices related to old age because of migrants’ influence.