Migrants as Agents of Change: Social Remittances in an Enlarged European Union

Prof. Izabela Grabowska , entre of Migration Research, University of Warsaw/University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Warsaw

Migration research into sending countries has typically been conducted by scholars interested in development. It is therefore normative, although coming to different conclusions: as discussed in de Haas (2010), the debate about whether migration is good for development 'has swung back and forth like a pendulum'. My talk discusses the extent to which this development studies literature is also relevant to highly developed countries in CEE. Based on ground‐breaking research into Polish social remittances, it sheds new light on the nature and mechanisms of social remitting, as captured by studies which eschew a normative approach. The studies in the context of equal migration system such as the one within the EU show that social remittances are not easily observable and manifest. They are more hidden, latent, subtle and nuanced than those happening within unequal migration system. Next to money people also transfer social remittances which stand for ideas, practices, skills, codes of behaviours, norms, values and social capital. However, not all migrants acquire, transfer and implement social remittances the same way. On‐going acts of resistance, imitation and innovation are involved. Stimulated by migration, some migrants become agents of micro‐social change. The talk is based on a methodology of transnational multi‐sited qualitative longitudinal research.

About the speaker
Professor Izabela Grabowska visited ERCOMER at University of Utrecht from September 2015 to February 2016. She is International Research Coordinator at the Centre of Migration Research, University of Warsaw. She is professor at University of Social Sciences and Humanities (University SWPS in Warsaw). She is a Deputy Chair of IMISCOE Research Network Board of Directors and member of the Executive Board. Prof. Grabowska took part in the international research consortia of 6 FP of the EU: in IDEA Project (coordinated labour market part) and PROMINSTAT (external expert). She was also the expert of The European Commission, DG Employment, Labour Market Unit in The Mobility Laboratory (2009‐2014) and The WEESP (Web‐tool for Evaluated Employment Services Practices, 2012‐2013) and The European Vacancy Monitor (2012‐2013). Currently she is the national expert of ESCO classification. Professor Grabowska since 2010 has been also an expert‐lecturer at Ernst & Young Business School in Bologna in the training programme for Public Employment Services. She also collaborates occasionally with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM, LINET Network). She publishes extensively on labour market, social and spatial mobility and social remittances. Her professorship monograph was devoted to social mobility of migrants and skills (2012).

Venue: Conference room 0.16-0.17

Date: 26 April 2016

Time: 12:30 - 13:30


UNU-MERIT