Transnational intergenerationalities : cultural learning in Polish migrant families and its implications for pedagogy

Sime, Daniela and Pietka-Nykaza, Emilia (2015) Transnational intergenerationalities : cultural learning in Polish migrant families and its implications for pedagogy. Language and Intercultural Communication, 15 (2). ISSN 1747-759X

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    Abstract

    In this qualitative study, we examine the impact of family migration on intergenerational learning, especially in relation to the transmission of cultural values and practices. Drawing on data collected through in-depth case studies with migrant Polish children and their parents, we explore the influence of intergenerationality on children’s cultural practices, beliefs and sense of identity and explore the significant forms of learning which take place within transnational families. Prompted by the diverse influences on their cultural learning after migration- from statutory services, community organisations, media, peers and family across two countries- children’s beliefs about the cultural values they should adopt are constantly under pressure and transformation. Using a sociocultural approach, we examine migrant children’s and their parents’ positions, and describe these as convergent or divergent in terms of cultural values and practices. We highlight the key role of children’s agency in the processes of intergenerational learning and relations and argue that transnational intergenerationalities need to be understood as re-configured by the new spatiality of family migration and require a more complex relational analysis, in order to inform inclusive practices in schools and community-based initiatives.