From mobility to anchoring
Ukrainian migrants in Poland
in Rethinking settlement and integration
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Chapter 4 focuses on the adaptation of Ukrainian migrants in Poland captured as a process from drifting to anchoring. It argues that the concept of anchoring allows for understanding of the simultaneity, temporality and flexibility of Ukrainian migrants’ attachments as well as the complexity and changeability of their ‘settlement’. It helps to capture their dynamic identities and the complex mechanisms of settling down. The adaptation and settling of Ukrainian migrants is discussed here in relation to their ‘lasting temporariness’, linked to the nexus of legal constraints (lack of an established legal status – with only three interviewees holding a permanent residence permit), cultural and geographical proximity enabling individuals to cross identity and cultural boundaries, as well as spatial circulation and the maintenance of various simultaneous attachments and links with the country of origin and the host state. The complex and dynamic processes of adaptation and settling are also influenced by Ukrainian migrants’ multiple and fluid identities and ambiguous position in Poland, constructed and perceived by Poles as neither strangers nor the same; neither on the move nor settled. The SAST study showed the Ukrainian migrants’ different layers of anchoring in Poland, from external footholds related to the legal and institutional framework and work, through more complex anchors embedded in social networks and to deeper internal footholds, linked to high competencies in Polish language, familiarity and the constructed cultural closeness, as well as European aspirations, which could coexist with the revival of Ukrainian civic activism in the face of the political developments and the military conflict in Ukraine.

Rethinking settlement and integration

Migrants’ anchoring in an age of insecurity

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