Diaspora and ethnic media in the age of migration. The role of the Polish ethnic media in the process of integration of Poles in the United Kingdom after May 2004.
The scale of migration influx of Poles to the UK following Poland’s entry into the EU in May 2004 has been one of the largest in post-war Britain. The Home Office records show that 540,000 Polish citizens have immigrated to the UK since 2004. In fact, Polish nationals constitute the second biggest and the fastest growing migrant community in the UK.
However, the ongoing migratory process is often associated with social tensions, misunderstandings and, sometimes, hostility between the migrants and the host society. The settlement process of the Polish migrants continues at a time of retreat from multiculturalism in the UK, the unprecedented population growth, particularly in metropolitan areas, and the rising public opinion expectation to reduce immigration by the British government.
The main aim of the research project is to explore to the role of the Polish ethnic media in the United Kingdom in the process of integration of the Polish diaspora living in the country. More specifically, what is their role in the processes of social, cultural, political and economic integration of the migrants. The theoretical framework of the project draws upon theories of ethnic media (Georgiou 2006; Geibler Pottker, 2009; Matsaganis, Katz, Ball-Rokeach, 2011) which emphasise the integration role of the media in multicultural societies. Since the British government has started placing stronger emphasis on social integration, and has abandoned the politics of multiculturalism, it is interesting to explore what role the ethnic media should play in building a socially integrated multicultural society.
At a time of increasing immigration and the crisis of multiculturalism in Europe, the outcomes of the research project will allow a greater understanding of the complex correlations between ethnic media, diasporas and the process of social integration. Moreover, the findings of the research will contribute to the debate on how to reconstruct social cohesion in a diverse society.
Ethnic Media, Ethnic Journalism, Media Sociology, Mass Communication Theory, Political Communication.
Michal is a member of the European Communication Research and Education Association (Diaspora, Migration and the Media Section).
Michal’s research project is financed by Cardiff University which awarded him the President’s Research Scholarship, (Re)-Constructing Multiculturalism.