High Mobility of Polish Women: The Ethnographic Inquiry of Barcelona



This article analyses migration narratives of a small group of Polish female “repeat migrants” currently residing in Barcelona. Before settling there they lived in at least three other countries. I argue that repeat migrants experience many challenges: learning multiple languages, integrating into multiple labour markets, building multiple social networks, and adapting to cultural contexts. I asked whether these challenges have resulted in increased integration in the host societies or integration into international expatriate communities. The main findings are that the two main subgroups were 1) women who adapted well to life in Barcelona because of their Catalan partners and 2) women with international partners who tended to live in clusters of internationals. Polish immigrant women in my fieldwork perceived themselves as outsiders unless they quickly learned Spanish and Catalan. I also argue that the availability of different kinds of Urry's mobilities might influence and facilitate decisions on becoming more mobile.