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Lived diversitiesSpace, place and identities in the multi-ethnic city$
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Charles Husband, Yunis Alam, Jorg Huettermann, and Joanna Fomina

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781447315643

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447315643.001.0001

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Migratory waves and negotiated identities: the Polish population of Bradford

Migratory waves and negotiated identities: the Polish population of Bradford

(p.83) Chapter Four Migratory waves and negotiated identities: the Polish population of Bradford
Lived diversities

Charles Husband

Yunis Alam

Jörg Hüttermann

Joanna Fomina

Policy Press

Chapter Four provides an opportune and concrete challenge to any lazy association of Bradford and Manningham with South Asian communities. By providing an account of the Polish communities in Bradford and Manningham this chapter explores a particular history of migration and settlement. The analysis strongly underscores the significance of peoples’ construction of their unique understanding of their trajectory of migration and settlement. The accounts that were developed to provide coherence for a community establishing itself in post-war Bradford are shown to have a continuing relevance for perceptions of contemporary Polish immigration into the area. Just as in the following chapter, one of the clear messages here is a necessary rejection of any simplistic usage of ethnic labels to account for the observable behaviour in the area. The very rich diversity within ethnic communities makes such essentialist usages of ethnic labels in popular discussion, and more particularly in policy debates, entirely fallacious. This chapter illuminates our understanding of the power of the stories that people tell themselves in order to make sense of their collective history of migration and settlement. This account provides a valuable comparative perspective for the examination of the multi-ethnic interaction that follows in Chapter 5.

Keywords:   diaspora, ‘Polishness’, generational difference, narratives of identity, mediascape

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