Paweł Wróbel

Photograph of Paweł Wróbel.
Academic Tutor / PhD Candidate

2012-2013 MA International Relations with Security (AHRC Studentship),
Department of Politics, University of Liverpool

2009-2012 BA Sc Econ 2.1 (Hons) Degree in International Politics, Aberystwyth University
Department of International Politics, Aberystwyth University

Contact

Email: pkw9@aber.ac.uk
Office: J6
Tel: +44 (0)1970 622610
Fax: +44 (0)1970 622659

Thesis

‘What is the perception of Polish migration's socio-cultural impact on Wales post-2004? Missing the human factor.’

Overview

This research examines the social and cultural geographies of European diasporas in Wales. While much diaspora research focuses on migrations between former metropolitan powers and their former colonies, relatively little attention has been paid to the experiences of migrants from other European countries to the UK.  This neglect is surprising considering facilitation of movement between one member state and another by the European Union, as well as the single market creating more opportunities and incentives for intra-European connections.  Significantly, migration to the UK from the Accession 8 (A8) group of states that joined the EU in 2004 has brought significant demographic changes both to many localities in particular and to the UK as a whole.  An academic study of contemporary A8 diasporas is particularly pertinent for a number of reasons.  Firstly, these EU nationals’ negotiation of belonging along several facets of identity allows for a study that does not experience these post-colonial ties.  Secondly, much of the academic literature on diasporas is concerned with the way in which race and racial differences are experiences and negotiated.  As A8 migrants are mostly from a white ethnic background, such a study has potential to examine alternative conceptualizations of race in diaspora through whiteness.  This study focuses on the experience of members of the Polish diaspora in Wales.  The overwhelming majority of A8 migrants to the UK are Polish nationals; for reasons of practicality in accessing sufficient participant numbers, as well as the candidate’s own research interest and positionality, it is proposed to focus on the experiences of Polish diasporas.

Wales has been particularly neglected in studies of diaspora compared with other parts of the UK.  Again, this is a surprising neglect considering how thousands of European migrants were attracted to southern Wales during its industrial heyday. Researching contemporary diaspora experiences in Wales allows the examination of multiculturalism in a minority nation context. Such an intervention invites exploration of some theorists’ assertions that minority nations are hostile to ethnocultural accommodation which is perceived to threaten their own cultural distinctness.  Such an investigation also allows for critical examination of how migrants experience oft-cited perceptions of Welsh hospitality and tolerance, as well as the extent Welsh societal culture and national identity can be considered in ‘civic’ rather than ‘ethnic’ terms.

Diasporas, by their very nature, are geographical phenomena, entwining social and spatial dimensions.  This project draws on a mixture of geographical understandings of diaspora, as well as contributions from other disciplines, to attain broad and critical theoretical and conceptual foundations.

This research begins its examination of these issues by focussing on the following issues:

  • The ways particular diasporic communities express their own cultural heritage in Wales
  • How ideas of Welshness are engaged and negotiated by members of diasporic communities
  • The roles key sites play in the maintenance of ‘homeland’ identity and in encountering Welshness.

Supervisors:

Dr Rhys Dafydd Jones and Prof Rhys Jones

Profile

I have completed a single honours BA Sc Econ degree in International Politics at the Aberystwtyh University in 2012 and then moved to the University of Liverpool where I was studying MA International Relations with Security on an Arts and Humanities Research Council Scholarship. Currently, I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, studying Human Geography and Polish immigration's impact on Wales post-2004 with regards to socio-cultural impact in particular. In October 2013 I started teaching Level 1 Geography Tutorial. Apart from the academic qualification I have a rich work experience as I have completed number of internships in such prestigious institutions as the House of Commons, Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Polish Senate and Sejm (lower chamber of Polish Parliament) or European Parliament. Between January 2015 and April 2015 I have been participating in the traineeship at the University of Malta under the auspices of the Erasmus+ Mobility Exchange scholarship where I was delivering lectures and organising seminars.

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Research Interests

  • Migration studies
  • Diaspora studies
  • Geography of the Central and Eastern Europe
  • Political geographies
  • Ethnic studies

Teaching

GG11910 Level 1 Geography Tutorial

Publications

  1. Wróbel, P. (2016) Polish migration’s socio-cultural impact on Wales in the aftermath of 2004 – preliminary findings from Western Wales: Case study of Aberystwyth, Studia Celtica Posnaniensia
  2. Wróbel, P. (2015) Problematizing hospitality: same perception, different practice? Case study of post-2004 Polish diaspora in Wales, International Journal of Arts & Sciences, 08 (03) : 221-228

Conferences

  1. Wróbel, P. (2016) Doświadczenia polskiej migracji w Walii po 2004 roku, paper presented at Seminarium Ośrodka Badań nad Migracjami, Warsaw, 12th December 2016.
  2. Wróbel, P. (2016) Wales’ popularity amongst the Polish diaspora: harmonious migration and socio-cultural changes, paper presented at Welsh Multiculturalisms: New Directions in History and Culture Conference in Swansea, 27th May, 2016
  3. Wróbel, P. (2016) Język polski jako główny nośnik kulturowy tożsamości: Doświadczenia polskiej migracji po 2004 roku do Walii, paper presented at Język Polski jako Nośnik Tożsamości Conference, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, 14th April 2016.
  4. Wróbel, P. (2016) Post-2004 Polish migration to Wales: (Be)longing, sites and Welshness, Paper presented at Welsh Human Geography Postgraduate Conference in Aberystwyth, Wales, 8th March 2016.
  5. Wróbel, P. (2015) (De)constructing Polish migrants’ in Wales identity: Juxtaposing fixed generalizations with formalized conceptualizations, paper presented at Constructing and Deconstructing Selfhood ESRC workshop in Cardiff, 30th May, 2015.
  6. Wróbel, P. (2015) Polish migration to Wales a decade on joining the EU: Methodological challenges for the 'insider', paper presented during Dialogues in Human Geography seminar series, Aberystwyth University, 7th May 2015.
  7. Wróbel, P. (2015) Problematizing hospitality: same perception, different practice? Case study of post-2004 Polish diaspora in Wales, paper presented at the International Journal of Arts & Sciences Conference, Valletta, Malta, 2nd March 2015.
  8. Wróbel, P. (2014) Polish-Welsh encounters in Wales: Challenging monoethnic myths in multicultural environment, paper presented at the Migrant Cross-Cultural Encounters Conference, Dunedin, New Zealand, 26th November 2014.
  9. Wróbel, P. (2014) Translations as mediating factor in the reading of specific types of texts: What is the ‘daily practice’ of translation like? Do we share concerns and do we struggle with similar issues?, discussion paper presented at Annual International Conference of The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), London, 28th August 2014.
  10. Wróbel, P. (2014) Polish migration's impact on the UK after Poland’s accession to the EU in 2004 Wales as a neglected area, paper presented at WISERD Annual Conference, Aberystwyth University, 4th July 2014.
  11. Wróbel, P. (2014) What is the perception of Polish migration's socio-cultural impact on Wales post-2004? Missing the human factor, paper presented at Welsh Human Geography Postgraduate Conference, Gregynog Hall, Newtown, 19th March 2014.