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Causes and Effects of Emigration from Poland: Research by the Centre of Migration Research at the Institute of Social Studies at the University of Warsaw (currently: Centre of Migration Research (CMR)

The research underlying the materials presented in the collection focused on various forms of international spatial mobility of the Polish population. The aim of the research was: (1) to identify basic forms/types of migration, their size, geographical directions, sustainability and selectivity, (2) to examine the role of migration factors at macro-social, group and individual levels (household, family), (3) to examine the effects of migration (demographic, social and economic ones) for the local communities and at a higher level of organisation. The research was carried out by the staff of the Migration Research Group of the Institute of Social Studies of the University of Warsaw, which operated as the Migration Research Centre of the Institute of Social Studies at the University of Warsaw in 1995–2005, and since 2008 has been a cross departmental unit of the University of Warsaw. The quantitative component (a survey) was the core element of the study. The research was conducted in four locations (areas of Poland): Podlasie, Silesia, Podhale and Mazovia.

The collection available from the Qualitative Data Archive includes materials from the qualitative component, carried out in accordance with the ethnosurvey methodology.*  These are mainly data from 26 in-depth interviews: transcripts (in whole or in fragments ordered according to instructions) or researchers’ notes. Most of the interviews were conducted in 1994–1997 as part of a project conducted under the guidance of Prof. Marek Okólski and financed from many sources.**  Some of the interviews in Podlasie were conducted at a later time, in 1999, under the guidance of Dr. Wojciech Łukowski (as part of practical training for students). The archive also provides additional materials related to the qualitative part of the study. 

When selecting respondents and households for the qualitative part of the project, the aim was to explore different types of migration, taking into account the results of the survey (looking for ‘typical’ cases) and the field experience of research team members, field coordinators and interviewers (looking for ‘unique’ cases).

Interviews were conducted on the basis of instructions, generally in two steps. After analysing the first part of the interview, the researcher-interviewer received instructions as to how to continue the interview and met the respondent or his/her family again. Unfortunately, not all the collected materials have survived.


*  D. S. Massey, The ethnosurvey in theory and practice, International Migration Review, No. 4, 1987.

** Committee for Scientific Research (KBN), UN Population Fund, Warsaw University statutory research fund, Warsaw School of Economics statutory research fund, Friedrich Ebert Foundation.