Michal Tuchowski MA Political Science (Adam Mickiewicz University), MA International Public Relations (Cardiff University)
Research student, School of Journalism, Media and Culture
This thesis examines the role of Polish diasporic media in the United Kingdom after Poland joined the European Union in May 2004. It focuses upon the process of social integration of the Polish diaspora, critically exploring if, and to what extent, Polish diasporic media help Polish migrants to adapt socially, culturally politically and economically within the host society.
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.
This thesis examines the role of Polish diasporic media in the United Kingdom after Poland joined the European Union in May 2004. It focuses upon the process of social integration of the Polish diaspora, critically exploring if, and to what extent, Polish diasporic media help Polish migrants to adapt socially, culturally politically and economically within the host society. The public policy context for the research is important: a time when consecutive British governments advocated a retreat from ‘multiculturalism’ and a renewed public policy of ‘social integration’. The research investigates the relationship between ethnic media and public policy, critically exploring how this shift may have influenced the role played by ethnic media in migrants’ integration. The investigation begins with critical discussion of theories of diaspora, ethnic media and social integration. It argues that diasporic media has integrative potential and can play an important role in migrants’ social integration, especially within culturally diverse societies such as Britain. The empirical research offers an in-depth investigation the ideas, beliefs and attitudes of Polish diaspora in the UK. It focuses upon ethnic media producers and consumers, employing three complementary methods of systematic data collection: semi-structured interviews with media producers about the strategic aims of their journalism, their practices, the opportunities and pressures upon Polish ethnic media; a series of in-depth focus groups with the Polish ethnic media audience exploring their views, experiences and expectations of that media; and a large-scale online survey with Polish diasporic groups about their perspectives on social integration and the role of Polish ethnic media in their lives. The approach allows for a multifaceted analysis considering the complex correlations between diasporic life, ethnic media and social integration conveyed by research participants. The research highlights some key areas where Polish diasporic media in the UK play an insufficient role in social integration. It’s role for new arrivals and at the beginning of the migratory journey is found to be much more developed than later support, for example, in developing identification with the host nation, reflecting on citizenship and belonging or negotiating cultural values. As such, the research questions whether Polish ethnic media may encourage migrants to live within a closed world of diaspora, but also highlights how a lack of cooperation between UK governmental institutions (central and local), and diasporic media may negatively influence social integration. The thesis concludes that whilst the social integration role of Polish diasporic media should to be rethought and enhanced by media producers, there is also an opportunity for UK public institutions to (re)discover ethnic media as valuable partners in building a socially integrated multicultural society in contemporary Britain.
Cardiff University, President’s Research Scholarship, (Re)-Constructing Multiculturalism