Alina Rzepnikowska


In the context of post-2004 European migration, Polish migrants encounter super-
diverse population (Vertovec 2007) in terms of different ethnicities, nationalities, cultures,
religions, languages and social classes. Drawing on narrative interviews and focus
groups with Polish migrant women, I explore my research participants’ imaginaries about
the classed, raced and gendered Other upon their arrival in Manchester and Barcelona. I
explore the constructions of the classed English Other different from the imagined upper
class and white British society; ‘closed’ Catalans contrasting the stereotypical perceptions
of open and friendly Spaniards and foreigners; and ambivalent perceptions of black and
Oriental others. I use the postcolonial critique in de-coding some of these constructions. I
stress the importance of the context and space in which these perceptions may have developed
and reinforced. I also explore the possibility of changing perceptions and the emergence
of conviviality understood as a practical and dynamic process, which emerges from
routine interaction between the recent arrivals and established individuals, not necessarily
free from tensions. My work contributes to a better understanding of everyday social relations
as it introduces a cross-cultural comparative and gendered approach to research on
conviviality. Furthermore, instead of focusing on majority-minority relations, it explores
encounters between post-2004 migrants not only with the native population but also with
settled ethnic minorities and other migrants with attention to whiteness and deeply rooted
classed and racialised perceptions of the Other.


Barcelona, conviviality, encounter, Manchester, Polish migrant women, racialisation, super-diversity, whiteness

Full Text:



Ahmed, Sara. “Declarations of whiteness: the non-performativity of anti-racism”.

Borderlands ejournal 3/2 (2004): 1–16. 30. 08. 2015.


Amin, Ash. “Land of strangers”. Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power 20/1

(2013): 1–8.

Bell, Joyce M., Hartmann, Douglas. “Diversity in Everyday Discourse: The Cultural

Ambiguities and Consequences of “Happy Talk””. American Sociological Review,

, Vol. December: (2007): 895–914.

Bhabha, Homi. “The Other Question: Stereotype, discrimination and the discourse of

colonialism”. The Location of Culture edited by Homi Bhabha, 94–120. London:

Routledge, 1992.

Bonnett, Alastair. White Identities. Historical and International Perspectives. Harlow:

Prentice Hall, 2000.

Bottero, Wendy. “Class in the 21st Century”. Who Cares about the White Working Class

(2009) 05. 05. 2014.


Bowman, Cynthia. “Street Harassment and the Informal Ghettoization of Women”.

Harvard Law Review 106/3 (1993): 517–580.

Burgueño, J. “El mapa Escondido: las lenguas de España”. Boletín de la A.G.E 34 (2002):


Byrne, Bridget. White Lives: the interplay of ‘race’, class and gender in everyday life.

London: Routledge, 2006.

Byrne, Bridget. “England – whose England? Narratives of nostalgia, emptiness and

evasion in imaginations of national identity”. The Sociological Review 55/3

(2007): 509–530.

Cashmore, Ellis. Dictionary of Race and Ethnic Relations. London and New York:

Routledge, 1996.

CBOS. “Społeczna percepcja przemocy werbalnej i mowy nienawiści”. (2007). 30. 08.


CoDE. “Geographies of diversity in Manchester’, Local Dynamics of Diversity Evidence

from the 2011 Census”. (2013) Посетено на 11 март 2014. http://www.ethnicity.


Colectivo IOE. Inmigración y trabajo: trabajadores inmigrantes en el sector de la

construcción: polacos y marroquíes en Madrid y Barcelona. Madrid: IMSERSO,

Denis, Myriam, Matas, Monserrat Pla, M. Entrecruzar culturas: Competencia intercultural

y estrategias didácticas. Brussels: De Boeck & Lacier, 2002.

Departament d’Estadística. “Lectura del Padrón Municipal de Habitantes. Evolución de

la población extranjera de Barcelona 2006–2015”. (2015) 09. 06. 2015. http://

Dietz, Gunter. “Frontier hybridisation or culture clash? Transnational migrant communities

and sub-national identity politics in Andalusia, Spain”. Journal of Ethnic and

Migration Studies 30/6 (2004): 1087–1112.

Dietz, Gunter, El-Shohoumi, Nadia. Muslim women in southern Spain: Stepdaughters

of A-Andalus. L Jolla, California: Center for Comparative Immigration Studies,

Drinkwater, Stephen, Eade, John, Garapich Michal. “Poles Apart? EU Enlargement and

the Labour Market Outcomes of Immigrants in the UK”. Discussion Papers in

Economics (2006)


Dziekan, Marek M. “History and culture of Polish Tatars”. Muslims in Poland and

Eastern Europe Widening the European Discourse on Islam, edited by Katarzyna

Górak-Sosnowska, 27–39. Warsaw: University of Warsaw, 2011.

Escandell, Xavier, Ceobanu Alin M. “When contact with immigrants matters: Threat,

interethnic attitudes and foreigner exclusionism in Spain’s Comunidades

Autónomas”. Ethnic and Racial Studies 32 (2009): 44–69.

Flesler, Daniela. The Return of the Moor: Spanish Responses to Contemporary Moroccan

Immigration. West Lafayette: Purdue University Press, 2008.

Fox, Jon E. “The uses of racism: whitewashing new Europeans in the UK” Ethnic and

Racial Studies 36/11 (2012): 1871–1889.

Frankenberg, Ruth. White Women, Race Matters: The Social Construction of Whiteness.

Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1993.

Gawlewicz, Anna. “Language and translation strategies in researching migrant experience

of difference from the position of migrant researcher”. Qualitative Research

(2014). doi: 10.1177/1468794114557992.

Gilman, Sander. Difference and Pathology: Stereotypes of Sexuality, Race and Madness.

Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1985.

Gilroy, Paul. After empire: melancholia or convivial culture? London: Routledge, 2004.

Goldberg, David T. Racist Culture. Philosophy and the Politics of Meaning. Oxford:

Blackwells, 1993.

Grabowska-Lusińska, Izabela, Okólski, Marek. “Migracja z Polski po 1 maja 2004 r.: jej

intensywność i kierunki geograficzne oraz alokacja migrantów na rynkach pracy

krajów Unii Europejskiej”. Centre of Migration Research Working Papers 33/91

(2008): 1–139.

Grabowska-Lusińska, Izabela, Okólski, Marek. Emigracja ostatnia? [Last emigration’?]

Warsaw: Scholar, 2009.

Grzymała‑Kazłowska, Aleksandra. Konstruowanie innego. Wizerunki imigrantow w

Polsce. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego, 2007.

Grzymała‑Kazłowska, Aleksandra, Okólski, Marek. Influx and Integration of Migrants in

Poland in the Early XXI Century. Prace Migracujne 50 (2003): 1–54.

HESA [Higher Education Statistics Agency]. “Top ten other European Union countries

of domicile in 2013/14 for HE student enrolments by location of HE”. (2015). 12.


Home Office. “Accession Monitoring Report, May 2004 – March 2009. A8 Countries”.

A joint report between UK Border Agency, Department for Work and Pensions

(2009) HM Revenue and Customs and Communities and Local Government.

hooks, bell. Black Looks. Race and Representation. Boston: South End Press, 1992.

Horolets, Anna, Kozłowska, Olga. “Provincializing Europe, Orientalizing Occident

or Reproducing Power Imbalance? Representations of the UK in Post-2004

Polish Migrants’ Narratives”. Word and Text: A Journal of Literary Studies and

Linguistics 2/1 (2012): 48–70.

Imre, Aniko. “Whiteness in post-socialist Eastern Europe: The time of the Gypsies, the

end of race”. Postcolonial Whiteness: A Critical Reader On Race And Empire,

edited by A. J. López, 79–100. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2005.

Kempny, Marian, Kapciak, Alina, Łodziński, Sławomir. U progu wielokulturowości.

Nowe oblicza społeczeństwa polskiego. Warszawa: Oficyna Naukowa, 1997.

Kirmani, Nida. “Rusholme”. A Postcolonial People: South Asians in Britain, edited by

Nasreen Ali London: Hurst, 2006.

Leitner, Helga. “Spaces of Encounters: Immigration, Race, Class, and the Politics of

Belonging in Small-Town America”. Annals of the Association of American

Geographers 102/4 (2012): 828–846.

Lorde, Audre. Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches. Trumansburg, NY: The Crossing

Press, 1984.

Martínez, Maria E., Nirenberg, David, Torres, Hering Max S. Race and Blood in the

Iberian World. Zürich, Switzerland: Lit, 2012.

Miles, Robert. Racism and migrant labour. London: Routledge, 1982.

Miles, Robert, Phizacklea, Annie. White Man’s Country. London: Pluto, 1984.

Mohanty, Chandra T. “Under Western Eyes: Feminist Scholarship and Colonial

Discourses”. Feminist Review 30 (1988): 61–88.

Moskalewicz, Marcin. “Murzynek Bambo- czarny, wesoły... ” Próba postkolonialnej

interpretacji tekstu. Teksty Drugie 1/2 (2005): 259–270.

Multilingual Manchester. “Multilingual Manchester: A Fact Sheet”. (2013). 19. 06. 2014.

Nalborczyk, Agata S. “Islam in Poland. The Past and the Present”. Islamochristiana 32

(2006): 225–238.

Nalewajko, Małgorzata. Nieznani a bliscy. Historyczne i spoleczne warunkowania

recepcji polskiej imigracji przelomu XX i XXI wieku w Hiszpanii. Warszawa:

Instytut Historii PAN, 2012.

Nowaczek-Walczak, Magdalena. “The world of kebab”. Muslims in Poland and Eastern

Europe Widening the European Discourse on Islam, edited by Katarzyna

Górak‑Sosnowska, 108–125. Warsaw: University of Warsaw, 2011.

ONS. “Polish People in the UK – Half a million Polish Residents”. 2011a. 08. 06. 2015.


ONS. “Statistical bulletin: Births in England and Wales by Parents’ Country of Birth”.

(2011b). 08. 06. 2015.


ONS. “Language in England and Wales”. (2011c). Посетено на 8 јуни 2015. http://


Owczarzak, J. “Introduction: Postcolonial studies and postsocialism in Eastern Europe”.

Focaal 53 (2009): 3–19.

Oxford Dictionaries. “Coloured” (2015). Посетено на 17 јуни 2015. http://www.

Parutis, Violetta. “White, European, and Hardowrking: East European Migrants’

Relationships with Other Communities in London”. Journal of Baltic Studies 42:2

(2011): 263–288.

Piróg, Patrycja. “Murzynek Bambo w Afryce mieszka”, czyli jak polska kultura stworzyła

swojego “Murzyna” Opposite 1 (2010). 30. 08. 2015. http://opposite.uni.wroc.


Podemski, K. „Doświadczanie świata. Kontakty międzykulturowe Polaków”. Polska

początku XXI wieku: przemiany kulturowe i cywilizacyjne, edited by Krzysztof

Frysztacki and Piotr Sztompka, 197–221. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo PAN, 2012.

Pujolar, Joan. “Immigration and language education in Catalonia: Between national and

social agendas”. Linguistics and Education 21 (2010): 229–243.

Reay Diane, Hollingworth Sumi, Williams Katya, Crozier Gill, Jamieson Fiona, James

David, Beedell Phoebe. “`A Darker Shade of Pale?’ Whiteness, the Middle Classes

and Multi-Ethnic Inner City Schooling”. Sociology 41/6 (2007): 1041–1060.

Rodon, Toni, Franco-Guillén, Núria. “Contact with immigrants in times of crisis: An

exploration of the Catalan case”. Ethnicities 14/5 (2014): 650–675.

Roediger, David. Towards the Abolition of Whiteness. New York: Verso, 1994.

Rogaly, Ben, Taylor, Becky. Moving Representations of the ‘Indigenous White Working

Class’ Who Cares about the White Working Class (2009). 05. 05. 2014. http://


Said, Edward W. Orientalism. London and New York: Penguin, 1995.

Simonsen, Kirsten. “Practice, Narrative and the ‘Multicultural City’: A Copenhagen

Case”. European Urban and Regional Studies 15/2 (2008): 145–158.

Skeggs, Beverly. Formations and Class and Gender. Becoming Respectable. London:

Sage, 1997.

Solomos, John. Race and Racism in Britain. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003.

Stanek, Mikołaj.“Społeczno-ekonomiczne konsekwencje ‘boomu imigracyjnego’ w

Hiszpanii”. Migracje i społeczeństwa współczesne, edited by Jan Zamojski, 107–

Warszawa: Instytut Historii Polskiej Akademii Nauk, 2007.

Średziński, Paweł. “Public opinion research with regards to the integration of the citizens

of African countries in Poland”. Fundacja „Afryka Inaczej”: Warsaw, 2010. 30.


Valentine, Gill. “The Geography of Women’s Fear”. Area 21/4 (1989): 385–390.

Van Dijk, Teun. A. “Discourse and the denial of racism”. Discourse & Society 3/1 (1992):


Van Dijk, Teun A. “Discourse and racism”. The Blackwell Companion to Racial and Ethnic

Studies edited by D. Goldberg and J. Solomos, 145–159. Oxford: Blackwell, 2002.

Van Riemsdijk, Micheline. “Variegated privileges of whiteness: lived experiences of

Polish nurses in Norway”. Social & Cultural Geography 11/2 (2010): 117–137.

Vertovec, Steven. “Super-diversity and its implications”. Ethnic and Racial Studies 29/6

(2007): 1024–1054.

Wessendorf, S. “Being open, but sometimes closed’. Conviviality in a super-diverse

London neighbourhood”. European Journal of Cultural Studies (2014): 1–14. doi:


White, Anne. “Young people and migration from contemporary Poland”. Journal of Youth

Studies 13/5 (2010): 565–580.

Wise, Amanda, and Velayutham, Selvaraj. “Conviviality in everyday multiculturalism:

Some brief comparisons between Singapore and Sydney” European Journal of

Cultural Studies 17/4 (2014): 406-430.

Władyka, Dawid, Morén-Alegret, Ricard. “Polish Immigration in Bacelona: The Sagrada

Familia Neighbourhood as an arena for interaction”. International Migration 52/1

(2013): 146–164.

Zapata-Barrero, Ricard, van Dijk Teun, eds. Discursos sobre la inmigración en España:

los medios de comunicación, los Parlamentos y las Administraciones. Barcelona:

Ediciones CIDOB, 2007.

Zapata-Barrero, Ricard. “The limits to shaping diversity as public culture: Permanent

festivities in Barcelona”. Cities 37 (2014): 66–72.

Ząbek, Maciej. Biali i Czarni. Postawy Polaków wobec Afryki i Afrykanów [White and

Black. Attitudes of Polish people towards Africa and Africans]. Warszawa: Instytut

Etnologii i Antropologii Kulturowej UW & Wydawnictwo DiG, 2007.

Ząbek, M. „Afrykanie w Polsce. O stosunkach rasowych we współczesnym społeczeństwie

polskim”. Obszary i formy wykluczenia etnicznego w Polsce edited by Aleksandra

Jasińska-Kania and Sławomir Łodziński, 169–180. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo

Naukowe Scholar, 2009.

Yuval-Davis, Nira. Gender and Nation. London-New Delhi: Thousand Oaks, 1997.


  • There are currently no refbacks.