Accepted paper:

Leavers and stayers discuss returning home

Author:

Aleksandra Galasinska (University of Wolverhampton)

Paper short abstract:

There is a significant difference between the previous waves of Polish migrants and the outflow of people from Poland after the EU expansion. Information technologies enable post-accession migrants to participate actively in an ongoing dialogue with those who stayed in the home country.This paper discusses an electronic newspaper forum as an example of transnational space of participation in a recreated civil society.

Paper long abstract:

There is a significant difference between the previous waves of Polish migrants and the massive outflow of people from Poland after the EU expansion. Information technologies enable post-accession migrants to participate actively in an ongoing dialogue with those who stayed in the home country about, among others, various social issues related to the process of the post-communist transformation. This paper discusses an electronic newspaper forum as an example of transnational space of participation in a recreated civil society. Recently there has been an on-going debate in the Polish media about a possible return of the post-04 migrants. Newspapers and magazines emphasise the economic (very strong Polish currency) as well as the political arguments (change of a government for the more liberal one) in order to explain that a mass return might happen. Both migrants and 'non-migrants' make comments on the issues and they post their views on internet forums of a number of e-papers. Anchoring the study in narrative and discourse analyses, I shall investigate topics and lines of argumentation of forum participants. I shall also describe the differences and similarities between "non-migrants'" and migrants' entries. In doing so I hope to shed a light on the role of such internet sites as translocal platforms of a new form of involvement in a public sphere. The data come from approximately 350 entries on an internet forum triggered by newspaper reports and articles in the electronic version of the 'Gazeta Wyborcza' between January and March 2008.

panel W072
Mutuality at a distance - transnational social space