9th Conference European Sociological Association

RS09 Research Methods in Ethnic and Migration Studies

2009-09-04 13:30:00 2009-09-04 15:00:00 Friday, 4 September 13:30 - 15:00 Transnationalism and History Building I, 2E5

Dynamics of Migrations Across Time and Space. Multi-Sited Ethnography, Grounded Theory and History in Transnational Studies

Technological revolution, development of the modern long-distance communication and liberalization of migration policies of national countries, led to a change in the traditional patterns of migration. Theoreticians of migration, more and more often, tend to analyse foreign citizens movements in the context of transnational social space. Transnational communities create new, different socio-economical relations that function across different boundaries. In the paper I would like to present my research concerning transmigration from Radgoszcz, a small Polish community, in the end of 19th century and nowadays. I would like to focus on methodological issues concerning both historical and contemporary migration flows between the communities (sending and receiving). My research strategy was based on multi-sited ethnography and grounded theory approach. The empirical data have been gathered for three years - since 2005 till 2008. At the beginning this research was concerning contemporary migration process from Radgoszcz. The first thesis has been modified by historical data. The empirical data referring to the historical part of my research is based on diocesan archives in Tarnów and content analysis of local newspapers from 19th century. The empirical data related to the contemporary part of my research was collected with the use of focus group interviews conducted among transmigrants from Radgoszcz in Vienna and Radgoszcz and surveys of students (graduate classes) from Gymnasium in Radgoszcz.
By using diversificated data it was possible to discover three main phenomena. First of all, realized research strategy allows to see the local migration dynamics and social attitudes towards this life strategy across time and space. Secondly, the findings show that mass migration from the 19th century left numerous tracks in mentality, history and genealogy of contemporary citizens of this area. Contemporary migration from Radgoszcz continues the tradition on one hand, and global tendency on the other. Finally, by diversifying research methods in both sending and receiving societies it made possible to find the "constant" variable factors of transmigrants and their children´s life strategies.