How do migrants develop the competence to successfully operate within a new society, and will these newly acquired intercultural skills and attitudes transfer between individuals and geographical locations? Can migration, and to what extent, trigger a shift towards more tolerance and respect for ethnic and cultural diversity in the countries sending migrants? And how are these effects mediated by particular conditions? These are the questions the TRANSFORmIG project seeks to answer by investigating recent massive migration between Poland and Great Britain and Germany. The ‘Polish case’ is highly instructive because of diametrically opposed contexts between which the transnational migrants regularly ‘switch’: Britain and Germany are characterized by a level and kind of multi-cultural complexity that is unknown to immigrants from Poland which is recognized as one of the most ethnically homogeneous country in the world.
The TRANSFORmIG project puts the hypothesis that contact with diversity – socializing with people of diverse backgrounds – leads to (a positive) change of attitudes both among migrants and their peer groups in the communities of origin, and that these effects are mediated by the particular configurations and representations of diversity.
The TRANSFORmIG project entails interdisciplinary, multi-method research in selected localities in Great Britain, Germany and Poland. Spanning sociology, anthropology, history and media studies, the project investigates with the help of a longitudinal qualitative study, individual and group interviews, ethnography and discourse analysis how people’s attitudes and skills to act in diverse societies change over time and in dependence with historical and contemporary conditions. Findings will significantly advance social scientific understanding of the processes of transnational transfer of values and attitudes and the spread of intercultural competences under the condition of growing diversification of societies.
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Funding SchemeERC-SG - ERC Starting Grant