Neighbourhood Ties and Migrant Networks: The Case of Circular Ukrainian Migrants in Warsaw, Poland

  • Published in:
    Central and Eastern European Migration Review, Vol. 3, No. 1, 2014, pp. 41-62
    Views: 10427

The paper deals with the importance of neighbourhood ties in the social networks of circular migrants. While existing research shows that social networks constitute a crucial element in the process of circular migration, not much is known about the extent to which these networks are territorialised. The paper discusses this issue by analysing the case of Ukrainian migrants in Warsaw and its suburbs, who are close to the receiving society in both cultural and geographic terms and thus make this group a unique case compared to immigrants travelling to Europe from more distant places. The analyses are based on data collected in a survey on Ukrainian migrants carried out in 2010 by the Centre of Migration Research, University of Warsaw, with the help of Respondent Driven Sampling (RDS). The studied sample consists of 342 respondents with different duration of migration from Ukraine to Poland. The paper argues that neighbourhood ties do not play an important role in the social capital and mobility patterns of Ukrainian circular migrants. The social relations of migrants are formed through ethnic and kinship ties, which are not related to a specific local area. The analyses also confirm earlier findings which show that Ukrainian migrants do not tend to concentrate spatially in the Warsaw metropolitan area, but which do point to the existence of small ethnic clusters. However, these seem to be determined by structural factors such as the availability of flats rather than individual preferences to live close to co-ethnics, which altogether suggests that there is a limited potential for local community formation among Ukrainian migrants.

Keywords: circular migration, Ukrainian migrants, local ties, clustering, neighbourhood


Circular migration, defined as the repeated movement of migrants between their home and destination countries (Constant, Zimmerman 2011; Hugo 2013), has recently gained importance due to easier travel and modern forms of communication. Since over a decade, circular migration has been occurring on an unprecedentedly large scale, involving a greater cross-section of groups and taking a wider variety of forms than ever before (Hugo 2003). It is often seen as advantageous for all three parties taking part in the migration process: the sending country, the receiving country and migrants themselves (ibidem; Vertovec 2007; Hugo 2013).

While there is a growing interest in circular migration among policy makers and scholars in Europe (Triandafyllidou 2013), the bulk of theories and empirical research is still rooted in a permanent settlement migration paradigm, with little knowledge about temporary migrants regarding their motives for taking up migration, their social and local integration, mutual relations and social and cultural effects on the destination country (Hugo 2003). One of the topics that remains understudied concerns the role of local ties and spatial concentration at the destination in circular migration; that is, the extent to which social ties of circular migrants are restricted to a certain territory such as the neighbourhood in the receiving country, and the existence of immigrant enclaves.

To my knowledge, there is no literature dealing with residential patterns and the role of local ties among circular immigrants. In Europe, the biggest group engaged in circular mobility is formed by migrants from the former USSR (e.g. Okólski 2010; Grabowska-Lusińska, Drbohlav, Hars 2011), who are the most important category of migrants in the Central and Eastern European region (e.g. Iglicka 2010). However, given the general scarcity of studies on Eastern European migrants (Markova, Black 2007), studies on the role of local ties and spatial concentration among this migrant group are lacking. This also applies to migrants’ residential patterns within Central and Eastern European countries, where foreign immigration is lower and ethnically mixed neighbourhoods are rare, but immigration from non-EU Eastern European countries is on the rise and therefore deserves closer attention.

This paper discusses the case of a migrant group that is close to the receiving society in both cultural and geographic terms, namely Ukrainian migrants staying in Warsaw and its suburbs. Ukrainians are thought to constitute the fastest growing migrant group in Poland and in the European Union (EU) (Kindler 2011). Originating from a nearby country with a similar culture, often remaining in Poland only temporarily, Ukrainians largely remain an invisible category of immigrants, which is therefore hard to study. The circular character of the mobility among these migrants and their cultural proximity to the host society make this a very particular case, compared to immigrants travelling to Europe from more distant places.

Based on a survey conducted in Warsaw among 342 Ukrainian migrants using Respondent Driven Sampling (RDS), the study analyses the role of neighbourhood ties in the migrant networks and the extent to which circular Ukrainian migrants in Warsaw concentrate spatially. Two main research questions are addressed:

  1. To what extent are the social networks of the Ukrainian migrants living in Warsaw locally based? What are the determinants of the formation of local ties by Ukrainian migrants?
  2. To what extent do Ukrainian migrants tend to settle in neighbourhoods in which their co-ethnics are present, and what are the determinants of this?

In the following section, selected theories on circular migration, migrant networks and ethnic clustering are introduced. The subsequent section briefly describes the characteristics of recent Ukrainian migration to Poland. After that, the data and measures used are explained. Then, the main results regarding spatial concentration and the importance of local ties among the studied migrants are presented. The results of two logistic regression analyses are included: one predicting the formation of local ties in Warsaw, the other settling in an ethnic cluster in Warsaw. Finally, the obtained findings are discussed and further research implications are provided.

Circular migration, neighbourhood ties and immigrant enclaves: theoretical framework

In general, circular migration may be defined as the systematic and regular movement of migrants between their home and foreign countries, usually aimed at seeking work (Constant, Zimmerman 2011). It may be practised by both skilled and unskilled workers, in a seasonal and non-seasonal manner. Its characteristic feature is that the options are kept open in both the home and host country, which means that circular migrants are in fact often in a state of limbo between the two societies of reference (Triandafyllidou 2006). Moreover, migrants spend significant periods of time at the origin and at destination and often have location-specific capital in both (Hugo 2013).

A crucial element in the migration process are social networks (Massey, Arango, Hugo, Kouaouci, Pellegrino, Taylor 1993; Arango 2004; Vertovec 2002). Not only do they help people migrate, but they also provide personal support and facilitate maintaining ties with co-ethnics in the destination and home countries. While migrant networks may include both migrants and non-migrants in the home country and at destination, one important type of network is based on ethnic ties. Ties with co-ethnics help find a job and lead to the development of an ethnic community, including ethnic institutions and places such as shops, restaurants or ethnic businesses, which not only serve as meeting places for migrants but also offer natives an opportunity to get to know the migrants and their culture (Anthias, Cederberg 2009; Wessendorf 2013).

While most scholars assume that a sense of community based on common origins will naturally emerge among the newcomers, some researchers argue that an ethnic community cannot be simply assumed (e.g. Brettell 2003). Brettell argues that the formation of a community depends on state policy as well as on structural, ideological and political factors. She also highlights the role of the character of migration: temporary migrants retain a ‘homeland orientation’, which is maintained by a long-distance social network, while long-term immigrants are oriented towards the receiving society. Many researchers have argued that a sense of community is not necessarily limited to a specific geographic location in which face-to-face contacts are paramount (e.g. Gupta, Ferguson 1992), and that contemporary migrants tend to live in transnational communities across national borders (e.g. Portes 1997; Brettell 2003; Castles 2003; Blunt 2007; Vertovec 2007). At the same time, Brickell and Datta (2011) argue the need to examine significant spaces and scales beyond the national, which means mapping places that are significant during the process of movement. They denote such spaces as ‘translocal geographies’, and attempt to identify scales at which the local is constructed and has relevance in everyday lives. Seen this way, traditional spaces such as the home, community and neighbourhood should regain attention as immediate sites of encounter that produce notions of belonging and attachment (Brickell, Datta 2011). The neighbourhood is viewed as a meeting place, in which residents can form and maintain social ties (e.g. Völker, Flap 2007). Neighbourhood researchers have shown that the neighbourhood is an important site especially for low-skilled, low-income and minority residents, since they often lack useful social resources elsewhere (Fischer 1982; Logan, Spitze 1994; Sampson, Morenoff, Gannon-Rowley 2002; Pinkster, Völker 2009). Consequently, the social networks of these groups – to which migrants tend to belong – are expected to be more locally oriented.

In the context of immigrants and ethnic groups, the topic of the neighbourhood is intrinsically linked to the emergence of immigrant enclaves and ethnic segregation. An immigrant enclave refers to a residential area with a high concentration of immigrants who cluster together as a means of protecting their economic, social, political or cultural position (Marcuse 2001). According to the ecological tradition of the Chicago School and classic works by Massey and Denton (1985, 1993), especially new immigrants concentrate in enclaves as survival strategies. Whether or not living in enclaves is beneficial for immigrants and social cohesion is subject to debate. Some researchers highlight that ethnic clustering, providing easier access to social networks, provides immigrants with opportunities to find jobs, offers practical, social and emotional support in daily life, and facilitates the functioning of neighbourhood-based services (Portes, Sensenbrenner 1993; Agrawal 2010; for a review see: McGarrigle, Kearns 2009). By contrast, other scholars see immigrant enclaves as negatively affecting life chances and as inhibiting social mixing and participation in the mainstream culture (Massey, Denton 1993; Marcuse, van Kempen 2000). In this perspective, ethnic and social residential mix are seen as key elements of an inclusive and integrated society, which is held to enhance social capital and life opportunities (e.g. Musterd, Andersson 2006). The latter rationale is reflected by ‘mixing policies’ pursued in many European cities, aimed at diversifying the neighbourhood population (but see Amin 2005 for a critique). It is important to stress, however, that spatial dispersal does not necessarily lead to social integration (e.g. Kohlbacher, Reeger 2005), and that the absence of spatial segregation and of immigrant enclaves does not necessarily facilitate the acculturation process in the host society (e.g. Grzymała-Kazłowska, Piekut 2007).

While existing research suggests that social networks constitute a crucial element in the process of migration in general, questions arise about the importance of neighbourhoods and local ties in the lives of circular migrants. Conclusions regarding residential patterns among immigrants were largely drawn from American research on ‘black ghettos’, which have different dynamics than immigrant enclaves in European cities (e.g. Malheiros 2002; Schönwälder 2007), and, importantly, are formed by permanent rather than temporary residents. In Europe, the bulk of research on ethnic clustering and immigrants’ residential patterns concentrates on minority groups from outside Europe – predominantly Middle and Near East, Africa or Latin America (e.g. Bowes, Dar, Sim 2002; Musterd 2005; Schönwälder 2007; McGarrigle, Kearns 2009) – who are distant in both geographic and cultural terms, and are permanent rather than short-term or circular migrants. This paper is an attempt to fill the gap in the migration literature on residential patterns and the role of the neighbourhood among circular migrants who, in social and legal terms, constitute an invisible population of foreigners.

Ukrainian migration to Poland: background information

Compared to other European countries, the scale of international immigration to Poland is rather low (e.g. Górny, Grabowska-Lusińska, Lesińska, Okólski 2010). In the aftermath of World War II, Poland became an almost entirely homogeneous society in ethnic terms, and there were hardly any significant immigration streams during the communist regime. However, since 1989 – after the collapse of the communist regime which meant, among other changes, a liberalisation of passport regulations – Poland has been experiencing an increasing inflow of foreigners, with immigrants becoming increasingly visible especially in large cities. Within Poland, the highest number of foreign immigrants is in Warsaw (e.g. Kępińska, Okólski 2004). In 2011, the foreign population in Warsaw accounted for nearly one-fourth of all foreigners living in Poland (Piekut 2012).

In terms of general characteristics of the migrant population in Warsaw, there is a prevalence of temporary migrants. The largest group of foreign migrants is formed by Ukrainians, whose mobility in most cases can be characterised as circular labour migration. While it is difficult to assess the number of Ukrainian migrants residing in Poland, it is estimated that each year at least 100 000 work legally in Poland, which implies that the actual number of Ukrainian migrants is much higher (Bieniecki, Pawlak 2009). It can furthermore be assumed that this number is growing steadily, as the number of declarations of intent by Polish employers to employ Ukrainian nationals1 – the main means of entry to Poland for the Ukrainian nationals in terms of numbers – increased from 180 133 in 2009 to 217 571 in 2013 (Ministry of Labour and Social Policy 2013).

As regards sectors of employment, the Ukrainian migrants are concentrated in agriculture, domestic services, and construction. They usually enter Poland legally, but often engage in unregistered forms of work (e.g. Lutz 2008). The relatively low economic attractiveness compared to the rest of the EU, and the short geographic distance to the home country, do not make Poland a settlement country for the majority of the Ukrainians. Instead, most migrants circulate between Poland and Ukraine, where they have their homes and families (see also: Iglicka, Gmaj, Borodzicz-Smoliński 2010). The aim of the majority of the Ukrainian migrants is to earn money and to go back home, which obviously hampers integration with the host society. At the same time, however, thanks to well-established connections with Polish society and both cultural and geographic proximity, compared to other migrant groups, Ukrainian migrants easily adjust to life in Poland and integrate into Polish society (Grzymała-Kazłowska 2008). Qualitative data have shown that an assimilation strategy – including a preference to form ties with Poles rather than sticking to one’s own ethnic group and the desire not to stand out from the Polish surroundings (Grzymała-Kazłowska 2014) – prevails among Ukrainian migrants. Conversely, native Polish residents perceive Ukrainians as ‘invisible migrants’ in terms of physical appearance; but as they often work as domestic workers, they are encountered by local residents on a daily basis, in contrast to the highly skilled migrants who have fewer contacts with the locals (Piekut 2012).

While there is very little knowledge about the transnational dimension of Ukrainian migration, several authors have applied the notion of transnational migration to analyse Ukrainian mobility to the EU (Solari 2010; Stanek, Hosnedlová 2012; Vianello 2013). In the view of Lutz and Palenga-Möllenbeck (2011), repeated travel between Ukraine and the receiving country make the Ukrainian mobility transnational. Moreover, several studies suggest that Ukrainian migrants tend to maintain ties with family and friends in Ukraine, and send remittances and visit their home country regularly (Kindler, Fedyuk 2014). However, involvement in other transnational practices such as ethnic businesses, organisations or political activity seems to be less evident, although more information is needed to obtain a clearer picture of the forms and practices of the Ukrainian community in Central and Eastern Europe.

As regards residential patterns, Ukrainian long-term migrants do not display a strong tendency to concentrate spatially, but are instead dispersed throughout the whole city (Grzymała-Kazłowska, Piekut 2007). Importantly, the migrants’ place of residence in Poland is strongly related to the type of work they perform. For example, migrants who take care of the elderly or disabled usually live with their employers, whereas women working as cleaners frequently share flats with other Ukrainian women (Kindler 2011). In general, however, migrants must rely on themselves – and on their social networks – when searching for housing in Poland (see also: Grzymała-Kazłowska 2004). Similarly to other labour migrants in Poland, they usually rely on the private rented sector (ibidem; for an elaboration on the housing situation among Ukrainian migrants in other countries see also: Markova, Black 2007).

As for most of the migrants that originate from countries less developed than Poland – which include Ukraine – the amount of rent is the most important factor when renting a flat. Migrants often choose low-quality dwellings, in large blocks of flats or single-family detached houses, in which they live in bigger groups (Piekut 2012). Regarding city districts in which Ukrainian migrants are present, the 2002 national census data demonstrated that Ukrainian migrants are more numerous in central parts of the city (Śródmieście, Mokotów, Ochota, Wola), but also in Praga Południe, Praga Północ and Targówek – districts on the right side of the Vistula river, which are further from the centre but easily accessible by public transport (see Figure 1). For Ukrainian migrants with a permanent residence permit, Grzymała-Kazłowska and Piekut (2007) showed that Mokotów, Praga Południe and Śródmieście were the most popular Warsaw districts, but in general, Ukrainian migrants were dispersed across the metropolitan area.

Figure 1. Spatial distribution of Ukrainians according to the 2001 population census

Source: 2002 census.

However, not much is known about the residential patterns of circular migrants, which may be due to the fact that studying circular migration in Europe is in general challenging for methodological reasons, and is thus fragmentary in its thematic scope. It can be expected that temporary migrants and migrants with irregular status will show a stronger tendency to concentrate spatially than migrants with a permanent residence permit, which is related to the higher degree of integration in Polish society, the legal status and relatively good socio-economic position of the latter, and to a stronger need for support in the receiving country among circular migrants (Grzymała-Kazłowska 2004).

Data and measures


This paper is based on data collected in 2010 among Ukrainian, Russian and Belarusian migrants who entered Poland for the first time after 1989 and at the moment of the study resided in Warsaw or its surroundings. The survey was questionnaire-based,2 and was carried out at the University of Warsaw’s Centre of Migration Research within a wider research project titled Mobility and Migrations at the Time of Transformation - Methodological Challenges. The research sample consisted of 546 respondents representing different types of mobility and duration of migration from Ukraine to Poland. The analyses presented here rely on a sample of 342 Ukrainian labour migrants.3 The average number of stays in Poland in this sample was 9.57, which indicates that the respondents were mainly circular migrants.

The study was based on Respondent Driven Sampling (hereafter: RDS), which is an innovative variation of snowball sampling designed by Heckatorn (1997) to reach hidden populations, and is gaining popularity in migration research (e.g. Napierała, Trevena 2010). The sampling in RDS begins with selecting several respondents (so-called seeds), who broadly represent the given population as regards the most important socio-demographic characteristics. Every seed is issued coupons with which they can recruit their peers, and is rewarded not only for own participation in the study but also for each person recruited (which means there is a double incentive system). The persons recruited are given coupons4 to recruit further waves of participants and so on. Eventually, all respondents are connected in several networks.

Seven seeds were selected so as to represent the sex, employment sector, and legal status diversity of the population of Ukrainian, Belarusian and Russian immigrants residing in Warsaw and surroundings. As a sampling method, the RDS enabled us to reach diverse categories of migrants in terms of migration patterns as well as a relatively large number of non-registered migrant workers, which would have been difficult to achieve with other sampling methods (see also Napierała, Górny 2011).

Measures and method of analysis

The analyses contain descriptive data and the results of two logistic regression models. For the descriptive statistics, data were weighted with the use of the Successive Sampling (SS) estimator  (Gile 2011), which is based on network sizes reported by the respondents. The estimated size of the population was 130 000, which is a rough estimation of the number of Ukrainian migrants staying in the agglomeration of Warsaw in 2012 (Górny, Kaczmarczyk, Napierała, Toruńczyk-Ruiz 2013). Regression models were based on non-weighted data, as there is no agreement as to whether RDS data should be weighted in case of logistic regression analyses (see e.g. Johnston, O’Bra, Chopra, Mathews, Townsend, Sabin, Tomlinson, Kendall 2011).

In order to explore the two main research questions, data regarding the characteristics of social networks, including local ties, were analysed. In addition, the spatial distribution of the Ukrainian respondents was examined. The measures used are described below.

Importance of people from the neighbourhood. Respondents were asked to assess the importance of several values in their lives, such as family, friends, acquaintances, leisure time, work, persons living in the same neighbourhood in Poland, and people from the hometown. Answers were given on a scale from 1 to 4 (1 = very important, 4 = not at all important).

Social ties were defined as relations to persons from outside the household – regardless of their country of residence – who are important to the respondent. While describing their social ties, respondents were free to include as many persons as they found appropriate. Four contact fields were distinguished: spending free time, asking for or giving advice, receiving help or helping out, and other relationships (cf. Fischer 1982). Respondents were asked to indicate the number of close ties in each of these four fields of contact. In addition, they evaluated the extent to which their social network consists of various categories of persons, such as: 1) persons from their own native country (in this case from Ukraine), 2) persons from Poland, 3) relatives and 4) persons living in the same neighbourhood in Poland. The response scale consisted of seven options: all, almost all, more than half, about half, less than half, some, none, which were recoded into five categories: all, more than half, half, less than half and none. Since the composition of the social ties did not differ strongly as regards the four fields of social ties, the results for one of the spheres will be presented, namely mutual help. Among the Ukrainian labour migrants who strongly depend on practical help, this field of contact seems to be a good proxy of the close ties that they can count on when in need.

In this paper, the term ‘local ties’ is used interchangeably with ‘neighbourhood ties’ to refer to ties with persons living in the same neighbourhood in Poland. The neighbourhood was defined in the questionnaire as the physical and social home surroundings, which the respondents pass through on their way to work, to do shopping and other daily routines.

Characteristics of the person that recruited the respondent. Various characteristics of the person that recruited the respondent were collected. Among others, a question was asked whether or not the person was the respondent’s neighbour, as a means of verifying whether the chains of recruitment were related to place of residence.

In order to identify the factors that predict the formation of local ties in Warsaw and settling in an ethnic cluster in Warsaw, two logistic regression analyses were conducted. Both models tested the role of several groups of predictors.

In the first regression model, the dependent variable was a dummy variable indicating whether or not the respondent had mainly local ties, which was defined as having more than half of all indicated social ties in any of the four studied spheres of contact with persons from the same neighbourhood. This analysis was done on the whole sample studied in this paper, i.e. 342 individuals. The existing literature on neighbourhood ties indicates that the quantity and quality of these ties depend on individual socio-demographic characteristics such as sex, age, education level, family situation and length of residence in the neighbourhood, as well as the type of building in which one lives (e.g. Lewicka 2004). Accordingly, these factors were included as independent variables. Variables relating to the history of migration such as length of stay and number of trips to the receiving country affect the migrant's social integration, and thus they may translate into the propensity to engage with the local community. Therefore, these variables were also included as predictors of the formation of local ties.

Socio-psychological factors included: the size of social networks, since the overall number of social ties may affect the extent to which one is able and willing to interact with others in his/her neighbourhood; the characteristics of the person recruiting the respondent; and the level of emotional attachment to Poland, as place attachment is known to be related to the propensity to engage in neighbourhood ties (Lewicka 2010).

Regarding the second regression model, the perception of living in a place in which other Ukrainian migrants live was treated as a proxy for living in an ethnic cluster. The sample in this analysis included 102 respondents, as this was the number of persons who were asked about the perception of their current residential neighbourhood (persons who at the moment of the survey had not lived in the current area for six months or longer or during subsequent stays for at least one year were not asked these questions).

The independent variables included the same set of variables as in the model predicting having local ties, with the exception of the type of building in which the respondent lived in Poland, and the characteristics of the person who recruited the respondent. These variables are known to affect social relations, but there is no reason to expect that they predict whether or not a migrant settles in an immigrant cluster. In addition, the model controlled for whether or not the respondent lived in one of the four Warsaw districts with the highest numbers of Ukrainians.

Table 1 summarises the list of the independent variables used in both regression models.

Table 1. List of independent variables used in Models 1 and 2

Source: own elaboration.

The importance of neighbourhood ties in close social ties

The main interest of this article is the importance of neighbourhood ties among the migrants, regardless of whether they are with other Ukrainians, with other immigrants or with Poles. The obtained data permit an analysis of the declarative measures and behavioural measures of this type of ties.

Regarding the declarative measure, around 49 per cent of the studied migrants reported that people in the neighbourhood in Poland were important to them (table not shown). However, compared to the reported importance of other groups of people – family, friends, acquaintances, people from the hometown – people from the neighbourhood in Poland were considered less important. Groups other than ‘people from the neighbourhood’ were considered important by over two-thirds of respondents, ranging from nearly 64 per cent in case of the importance of acquaintances to 99 per cent in case of family. Nearly 65 per cent of respondents reported that people from their hometown were important to them, which would suggest that circular migrants are oriented more towards the country of origin than towards the receiving country.

Behavioural measures of the importance of local ties included information on the size and composition of close ties. On average, the respondents reported to have nearly seven persons in the domain of free time, nearly three persons in the domain of giving/receiving advice, and nearly four in the domains of giving/receiving help and other types of contacts. These numbers are not high, but it is important to bear in mind that the question referred to ‘close persons’ in these four spheres of contact, which means that acquaintances with which the respondent has rather weak ties were not included here. It appears then that for Ukrainian labour migrants it is sufficient to have only a few close persons in order to set up a life in Poland (see Table 1 in the Appendix). This is consistent with Kindler’s (2011) finding that the Ukrainian domestic workers have numerous weak ties and few strong ties. 

Answers to the questions regarding the characteristics of the close persons whom the respondent has helped or from whom he/she has received help are illustrated in Figure 2. While this paper focuses on the significance of local (neighbourhood) ties, the proportion of other categories of persons in respondents’ close social ties – relatives, people of the same origin, Poles – are presented as a point of reference.

Ethnic ties are clearly the most important type of ties for the Ukrainian migrants (see Figure 2). The close ties of Ukrainian migrants include mainly other Ukrainians: around 87 per cent of the respondents reported that their networks consisted entirely of persons of the same origin. This means that the Ukrainian migrants are much more likely to give and receive help from their co-ethnics than from other people. By contrast, a similar percentage (nearly 88 per cent) reported that their networks contained no Poles. Since the respondents were asked about close ties, and not just any kind of social ties, this finding can be treated as some evidence that the ties between Ukrainian migrants and Poles hardly ever take the form of close relations. This is consistent with Kindler’s observation (2011) that the existing ties between Ukrainians and Poles are mainly of a weak nature, and are often related to work. Interestingly, relatives do not dominate the close ties of the Ukrainian migrants.5 While 32 per cent of the studied migrants had an entirely family-centred network as regards mutual help, 36 per cent reported to spend their free time with no relatives.

If we compare the reported proportion of close ties with persons from the same neighbourhood to the proportion of ties to other categories of persons, we see that this share was bigger than that of Poles, but smaller than that of relatives and co-ethnics (Figure 2). For neighbourhood ties, we cannot determine whether they were formed in the neighbourhood or already existed before settling in Warsaw. However, we can see that the majority of persons – almost 69 per cent – reported to have no persons from the neighbourhood in their social networks. Therefore, the idea that migrants tend to form a big number of local ties cannot be derived from the given data: the social networks of the respondents tend to be dispersed across the city and do not concentrate in the same neighbourhood. At the same time, however, around 11 per cent had an exclusively neighbourhood-based network of persons, which suggests that the neighbourhood, though not playing a major role in the lives of the circular migrants, is important to a small yet significant group of Ukrainians.

Figure 2. Share of four categories of persons within close ties whom the respondent has given or from whom has received help

Source: own elaboration based on RDS U Warsaw 2010, Centre of Migration Research.

Unfortunately, the dataset does not reveal whether the local ties are maintained with Poles, Ukrainians or other immigrants. However, we may look more carefully at the level and kind of social capital of the group of respondents who mainly have local ties in Poland. This group consists of individuals who reported that more than half of their close ties are located within the neighbourhood in Poland in at least one of the four studied spheres of contact (spending free time, giving/receiving help, giving/receiving advice, other). Such persons comprised 21 per cent of the whole sample. If we compare this group of migrants to the rest of the sample as regards the composition of the social ties maintained by both groups, we may observe that Ukrainians whose close ties were mainly based in the neighbourhood had fewer ties with their co-ethnics and with their relatives than did the rest of the migrants (Figure 3). They also had more ties with Poles. This suggests that the Ukrainian migrants for whom neighbourhood ties are important are more integrated in Polish society, and that their social capital is oriented more towards the host society than it is among the rest of the migrants. This could mean that the local ties that are maintained by Ukrainian migrants in Warsaw are in fact ties with Poles, and not with co-ethnics.

Figure 3. Ties with family, Poles and coethnics, among persons who have strong neighbourhood ties and the rest of the migrants

Source: own elaboration based on RDS U Warsaw 2010, Centre of Migration Research.

Predictors of having local ties

Which factors determine whether or not a substantial part of the social ties maintained in the destination country are local? Table 2 demonstrates the results of the logistic regression model predicting whether or not the respondent had mainly local ties. Among the tested predictors, the variables that were statistically significant were: living with a partner in Poland, the proportion of time spent in Poland and education level. Individuals who lived with their partner in Poland – regardless of whether the partner was Ukrainian, Polish or of a different origin – were more likely to have mainly local ties. Local ties were also more likely as the proportion of time spent in Poland (not to be confused with the total amount of time spent in Poland since the first stay) increased at the expense of time spent in Ukraine. Compared to persons with secondary education, migrants with sub-secondary education were more likely to have local ties. This is consistent with the observation that people with lower socio-economic status tend to rely more on local ties (e.g. Fischer 1982).

Interestingly, the moment when repeated migration to Poland began was not related to having mainly neighbourhood-based ties. The reason for this may be that for the majority of Ukrainians, a longer duration of mobility rarely transforms into more settled forms of migration and is thus not related to the formation of local ties. What appears to matter more is the amount of time actually spent in Poland, at the expense of time spent in the home country. The results show therefore that the persons who mainly have ties within their neighbourhood in Poland are persons embedded in Polish society, who spend a large proportion of their time in Poland, and who have strong links with Poles.

Variables such as sex, age of the individual, and type of the building in which the individual lives, had no significant effect.

Table 2. Logistic regression model predicting having local ties; N = 342

Note:  R2 = .23, (Cox & Snell), 0.33 (Nagelkerke). Model chi2 (27) = 54.69, p < 0.01.

* p < .05, ** p < .01

Source: own elaboration based on RDS U Warsaw 2010, Centre of Migration Research.

Spatial concentration

An analysis of the spatial distribution of the migrants studied in the RDS survey largely confirmed the census data, showing a high presence of Ukrainian migrants in central, older parts of Warsaw: Mokotów, Targówek, Śródmieście, and Praga Południe. An above-average presence of Ukrainian migrants in these parts of the city can be attributed in part to the higher density of tall buildings (such as blocks of flats and tenement houses) in these districts. It is also apparent that there is no particular district in which Ukrainians are concentrated; hence we cannot speak of a ‘Ukrainian neighbourhood’ as such.

When we turn to the question of the length of residence in the current neighbourhood, it emerges that less than 7 per cent of the studied migrants have lived in the same neighbourhood for six months or longer during their current stay in Poland, and 18 per cent have lived in the same neighbourhood for at least one year altogether across different stays in Poland. This result demonstrates that a majority of Ukrainian migrants tend to change their place of residence during successive stays in Poland, which obviously hampers the formation of strong social ties in the neighbourhood. The Ukrainians who successively rent a flat in the same neighbourhood therefore constitute a very unique group compared to the rest of the Ukrainian circular migrants. The specificity of this group is confirmed in descriptive statistics: the migrants who had lived in their current neighbourhood for a considerable amount of time (six months or longer during their current stay, or at least one year across different stays) were on average older than migrants, who changed neighbourhoods across their stays in Poland (mean 41.22 years versus 36.60, t(207) = 2.28, p < .05), and more often female (55.3 per cent versus 44.7 per cent, χ2(1) = 8.77, p < .001). When asked in which country they perceived to have their own home, the migrants who had lived in their current neighbourhood for a considerable amount of time replied, more often than the rest of migrants, that their home was in Poland (24.5 per cent versus 10.5 per cent among the rest of migrants, χ2(1) = 6.02, p < .05). This result suggests that migrants who change their place of residence in Poland are to a lesser extent settled and are less attached to Poland and Warsaw in particular, and less attached to their hometown than the rest of the studied migrants.

Subjective ethnic clustering and its predictors

From among the persons who lived in the same neighbourhood for at least six months continuously or one year altogether, nearly 45 per cent reported that their current neighbourhood was an area where only Poles lived, 30 per cent said they lived in an area in which several other immigrants lived, and 18 per cent said that they lived in an area in which many other immigrants lived. Of the two latter categories of respondents taken together – who said that several or many immigrants live in their neighbourhood – 57 per cent (24 persons) reported that the immigrants who lived in their home area were mainly Ukrainians. This suggests that Ukrainian migrants do cluster in certain Warsaw areas, but the clusters are very small and are therefore hardly visible in the census data. The people who report to have other Ukrainians in their neighbourhood live in various locations in Warsaw, which confirms that the existing Ukrainian clusters do not form distinct ethnic neighbourhoods but rather small groups of persons renting flats together.

A logistic regression model was run to examine what variables are related to living in an ethnic cluster. Since the sample included in the analysis is rather small, the analysis should be treated as exploratory. The dependent variable was a dummy variable indicating whether or not the respondent reported that his/her neighbourhood was an area in which at least several other Ukrainians live. The results of the regression analysis are shown in Table 3.

As regards predictors related to migration history, the proportion of time spent in Poland was significant – migrants who spent a large proportion of their time in Poland (and less time in Ukraine), were less likely to settle in an ethnic cluster. This can be explained by the fact that migrants who are more rooted in Poland are more integrated with the host society and thus represent residential patterns similar to these of the indigenous population. Meanwhile, it should be noted that the number of years spent in Poland (in absolute numbers) was not significantly related to settling in a Ukrainian cluster.

Interestingly, the sector of employment matters: specifically, persons employed in the construction sector were less likely to live in a neighbourhood with other Ukrainians. Working in the domestic service sector was not related to living in a Ukrainian cluster.

Furthermore, the size of the social network turned out to be a significant predictor. The bigger a person’s network, the more likely he or she was to settle in a place where other Ukrainian migrants are present. This seems reasonable since migrants with bigger networks are more likely to know other migrants who settle in certain places and are thus more likely to settle there as well. Persons who have smaller networks are to a greater extent left on their own and may have worse access to these places. They may also be less aware of the presence of other Ukrainians in their home area. Preliminary results of the qualitative study conducted within the same research project reveal that the majority of Ukrainian migrants show little interest in knowing whether any co-ethnics live in the neighbourhood.

Table 3. Logistic regression model predicting whether or not the respondent reported that his/her neighbourhood is an area in which at least several other Ukrainians live, N = 102

Note: R2= 0.37 (Cox & Snell), 0.51 (Nagelkerke). Model chi2(20) = 46.82, p < .001.

* p < .05, ** p < .01, *** p < .001

Source: own elaboration based on RDS U Warsaw 2010, Centre of Migration Research.

A further variable that predicts settling in a Ukrainian cluster is whether the household in Poland is considered as ‘home’. Individuals who did were less likely to have other Ukrainians in their surroundings. This is consistent with the observation that more integrated migrants are spread across the city rather than clustered in certain locations.

As regards family situation, persons who lived with their partner in Poland were more likely to cluster with other Ukrainian migrants. This may be because these persons are more likely to travel in bigger groups and thus settle in locations in which other Ukrainian migrants are more likely to be present. Unsurprisingly, living with the employer reduced the chances of settling in a Ukrainian cluster. This is understandable since persons who live with their employer do not choose their place of residence, and the people who employ Ukrainian migrants are scattered all over Warsaw.


Previous research on residential patterns of migrants has focused on long-term migrants who originate from places that are distant in both cultural and geographic terms, and therefore are motivated to protect their position in the destination country. The presented study concentrates on circular migrants travelling from Ukraine to Poland and shows that these migrants maintain close ties mainly with co-ethnics, the majority of which live outside their neighbourhood. This suggests that the networks were probably formed already before coming to Poland, but also that the neighbourhood does not play a major role in the social capital of Ukrainian migrants and their mobility patterns. It then appears that spatial proximity is not necessary to maintain personal networks with other circular migrants, and also that the neighbourhood is not a meaningful site of interactions for circular Ukrainian migrants. Relations are formed through ethnic and kinship ties, which are not related to a specific area. Ties based on work relationships and those helpful in finding a job seem to be stronger and more important than social ties maintained in the place of residence in Poland, which Ukrainian migrants appear to change frequently.

Regarding the Ukrainian migrants’ tendency to concentrate spatially, the findings are somewhat ambivalent. The analyses confirm earlier findings suggesting Ukrainian migrants do not tend to concentrate spatially in the Warsaw metropolitan area, but nevertheless point to the existence of small ethnic clusters, most likely consisting only of several neighbouring apartments or houses. Such clusters can be found mainly in locations containing a high number of blocks of flats and tenement buildings. The conducted regression model predicting living in an area in which other Ukrainians are present demonstrated that migrants who are less rooted in Poland and less integrated with Polish society are more likely to settle in such places. The reported relatively low importance of people in the neighbourhood in the destination country, compared to other groups of people such as family and people from the hometown, suggests that the existing small clusters result from structural factors such as the availability of flats rather than individual preferences to live close to co-ethnics. A strategy to mix with Poles may give the Ukrainians a stronger sense of security than living next to co-ethnics. However, more in-depth and preferably qualitative studies are required to explore the issue of Ukrainian ethnic clusters in Warsaw and to identify the determinants of their formation.

Despite the fact that the new Ukrainian migrants may be characterised as low-income, circular migrants, strongly relying on social networks when migrating and having few strong ties with Poles, a local immigrant community does not emerge in this group. The analyses do reveal, however, that neighbourhood ties in Poland gain importance when migrants are more integrated into Polish society. The Ukrainian migrants who mainly have ties within their neighbourhood in Poland spend more time in Poland and in this sense, they resemble long-term migrants more than circular migrants. As such, they are oriented more towards the receiving society than towards their homeland. In light of the above, the finding that the neighbourhood relations formed by these migrants are ties with Poles rather than with other Ukrainians is not surprising.

When analysing migrant residential patterns in Polish cities, it is also necessary to bear in mind that they need to be interpreted within the given institutional context, namely a new destination country for immigrants, in which an immigration policy - including an integration policy - has not yet been developed (e.g. Grzymała-Kazłowska 2014). Consequently, no policies in relation to access to housing for ethnic minorities and immigrants have been developed. In addition, the character of the housing market in Poland – typical for the Central and Eastern European countries – needs to be taken into account. The urban policies of the former communist regimes, aimed at dispersing members of particular social groups, as well as a current lack of a clear housing policy (e.g. as regards social housing) have led to rather disorganised patterns of residence with limited spatial segregation. Compared to West European cities, the levels of social segregation in the largest Polish cities are still low (Marcińczak, Musterd, Stępniak 2012). Consequently, and also because of the low level of immigration in Poland, foreigners – who like natives rely on the informal housing market – show lower levels of spatial segregation than in most European cities (compare: Malheiros 2002). Therefore, in the case of Polish cities, immigrant neighbourhoods as such cannot be observed, which makes the Polish context very different from old immigration countries such as the United Kingdom or the Netherlands, in which migrant neighbourhoods have been present for decades. The absence of distinct immigrant neighbourhoods calls into question whether the theories on the consequences of living in immigrant areas are applicable in the Polish context.

An important factor to take into consideration when analysing the formation of local ties among Ukrainian migrants is the overall lack of a visible institutional background for the Ukrainians in Poland. Apart from the Orthodox Churches and the Greek Catholic Church, Ukrainian migrants do not have meeting places such as shops, restaurants, schools, etc. (see also Piekut 2012). As temporary Ukrainian immigration to Poland is a relatively new phenomenon, with the existing Ukrainian minority having very few common characteristics and history with circular migrants, the new migrants are arriving in a ‘vacuum’ with hardly any institutional support and existing ethnic communities. They are to a limited extent dependent on their co-ethnics, and show a rather individualistic approach. This, among other things, distinguishes them for example from the Vietnamese immigrants living in Poland, who have established a well-organised, closely-knit community (e.g. Kindler, Szulecka 2013).

When seeking to answer the question why neighbourhood-based ties are of relatively low importance for Ukrainian circular migrants compared to other social ties, several characteristics of this migrant group need to be taken into account. One explanation may be that Ukrainian circular migrants who do not have close ties with Poles can be seen as migrants living in ‘transnational space’ – between Poland and Ukraine – and constantly being on the move. Being in a state of limbo between the country of residence and home country, the migrants may show a lack of interest in building a local community, but an inclination towards a dispersed, transnational network, which can also be helpful in arranging the stay in Poland. In addition, the widespread use of the Internet and new technologies allow migrants to easily maintain contact with friends and relatives in Ukraine. At the same time, Ukrainians are close to Poles in cultural and geographic terms, and rarely face a strong language barrier, as do e.g. Polish immigrants in the UK – a seemingly similar migrant group – which facilitates the formation of weak ties with the host members and consequently may reduce the need to stick to one’s own ethnic group. Migrants who have strong social ties with the host members, in turn, are more oriented towards Poland and thus have greater chances to form close relations in the neighbourhood during their stay abroad.

The discussed results correspond with the policy recommendations of Hugo (2013), who suggests that the concept of circular migration is usually applied to situations in which ‘the home’ is the country of origin, with little recognition of circular migrants whose home is in the destination country. If facilitating and encouraging circular mobility should be the goal of policy makers, as is often argued today (e.g. Hugo 2013; Global Commission on International Migration 2005), there is little chance that this will be accomplished through policies at a local level. Such programmes will rather reach migrants embedded in Polish society whose home is abroad.


[1] Simplified procedure to employ a foreigner. It allows foreigners to work without a work permit for six months within one year at most. 

2 The interviews lasted approximately for one hour and were conducted mainly by Ukrainian interviewers.

3 The network of 204 respondents originating from one seed was excluded from the analysis. This was because its members differed from the rest of the sample in that they were of various nationalities and many of them were students. Meanwhile, residential patterns of students are determined by the locations of student dorms and not by individual preferences.

4 In this study, each person was given two coupons, which means that he/she could recruit a maximum of two other peers.

5 In case of relatives, the proportions varied for the remaining three fields of contact (mutual advice, spending free time and other), which may be due to the fact that the relatives are often located in Ukraine and contacts are therefore not on a regular basis.


The analyses presented in this paper were funded by the National Science Centre within the research project: Two decades of irregular temporariness? An examination of changes in mobility from Ukraine to Poland in a multi-dimensional perspective, grant agreement number HS4/02275.


Agrawal S. (2010). Neighbourhood Patterns and Housing Choices of Immigrants. Region of Peel. Immigration Discussion Paper. Online: (accessed: 15 June 2014).

Amin A. (2005). Local Community on Trial. Economy and Society 34(4): 612-633.

Anthias F., Cederberg M. (2009). Using Ethnic Bonds in Self-employment and the Issue of Social Capital. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 35(6): 901-917.

Arango J. (2004). Theories of International Migration, in: D. Joly (ed.), International Migration in the New Millennium, pp. 15-35. Research in Migration and Ethnic Relations Series. Aldershot: Ashgate.

Blunt A. (2007). Cultural Geographies of Migration: Mobility, Transnationality and Diaspora. Progress in Human Geography 31(5): 684-694.

Bieniecki M., Pawlak M. (2009). Strategie przetrwania. Adaptacja ukraińskich migrantów zarobkowych do polskiej rzeczywistości instytucjonalnej. Skrót raportu. Badania, ekspertyzy, rekomendacje.Warsaw: Institute of Public Affairs.

Bowes A. M., Dar N. S., Sim D. F. (2002). Differentiation in Housing Careers: The Case of Pakistanis in the UK. Housing Studies 17(3): 381-399.

Brettell C. (2003). Anthropology and Migration. Essays on Transnationalism, Ethnicity, and Identity. New York: AltaMira Press.

Brickell K., Datta A. (eds) (2011). Translocal Geographies: Spaces, Places, Connections. Farnham: Ashgate.

Castles S. (2003). Migrant Settlement, Transnational Communities and State Strategies in the Asia Pacific Region, in: R. R. Iredale, C. Hawksley, S. Castles (eds), Migration in the Asia Pacific. Population, Settlement and Citizenship Issues, pp. 3-22. Cheltenham, UK, Northampton, USA: Edward Elgar.

Constant A. F., Zimmermann K. F. (2011). Circular and Repeat Migrations: Counts of Exits and Years Away from the Host Country. Population Research and Policy Review 4(30): 495-515.

Fischer C. (1982). To Dwell Among Friends. Personal Networks in Town and City. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Gile K. J. (2011). Improved Inference for Respondent-Driven Sampling Data With Application to HIV Prevalence Estimation. Journal of the American Statistical Association 106(493): 135-146.

Global Commission on International Migration (2005). Summary of the Report of the Global Commission on International Migration. New York, 26-27 October 2005. Online: (accessed: 15 June 2014).

Górny A., Grabowska-Lusińska I., Lesińska M., Okólski M. (eds) (2010). Transformacja nieoczywista. Polska jako kraj imigracji. Warsaw: Wydawnictwa Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego.

Górny A., Kaczmarczyk P., Napierała J., Toruńczyk-Ruiz S. (2013). Metody badania aktywności ekonomicznej imigrantów w Polsce. Szanse i ograniczenia. Materiały Instytutu Ekonomicznego NBP. Warsaw: National Bank of Poland.

Grabowska-Lusińska I., Drbohlav D., Hars A. (eds) (2011). Immigration Puzzle. Comparative Analysis of the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland before and after Joining the EU. Saarbrücken: LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing.

Grzymała-Kazłowska A. (2004). Migranci z krajów mniej rozwiniętych gospo­darczo niż Polska: przypadek Wietnamczyków, in: J. Grzelak, T. Zarycki (eds), Społeczna mapa Warszawy, , pp. 389-441. Warsaw: Wydawnictwo Naukowe Scholar.

Grzymała-Kazłowska A. (ed.) (2008). Między wielością a jednością. Integracja odmiennych grup i kategorii migrantów w Polsce. Warsaw: Centre of Migration Research, University of Warsaw.

Grzymała-Kazłowska A., Piekut A. (2007). Czy mamy już w Polsce małą Ukrainę i polskie Viettown? Społeczno-przestrzenne wzory zamieszkiwania imigrantów w metropolii warszawskiej. Studia Lokalne i Regionalne 4(30): 77-99.

Grzymała-Kazłowska A. (2014). The Role of Different Forms of Bridging Capital for Immigrant Adaptation and Upward Mobility. The Case of Ukrainian and Vietnamese Immigrants Settled in Poland. Ethnicities, January 9, 2014, doi:10.1177/1468796813518314.

Gupta A., Ferguson J. (1992). Beyond ‘Culture’: Space, Identity, and the Politics of Difference. Cultural Anthropology 7(1): 6-23.

Heckatorn D. D. (1997). Respondent-Driven Sampling: A New Approach to the Study of Hidden Populations. Social Problems 44(2): 11-34.

Hugo G. (2003). Circular Migration: Keeping Development Rolling? Online: (accessed: 15 June 2014).

Hugo G. (2013). What We Know about Circular Migration and Enhanced Mobility. Migration Policy Institute. Online: (accessed: 15 June 2014).

Iglicka K. (2010). Kwestia imigracji w Europie Środkowo-Wschodniej: wymiar historyczny, demograficzny, ekonomiczny i polityczny, in: K. Iglicka, M. R. Przystolik (eds), Ziemia obiecana czy przystanek w drodze?, pp. 192-195. Warsaw: Biuro Rzecznika Praw Obywatelskich.

Iglicka K., Gmaj K., Borodzicz-Smoliński W. (2010). Circular Migration Patterns Migration between Ukraine and Poland. Metoikos Project. European University Institute. Online: (accessed: 15 June 2014).

Johnston L., O’Bra H., Chopra M., Mathews C., Townsend L., Sabin K., Tomlinson M., Kendall C. (2008). The Associations of Voluntary Counseling and Testing Acceptance and the Perceived Likelihood of Being HIV-Infected Among Men with Multiple Sex Partners in a South African Township. AIDS and Behavior 14: 922-931.

Kępińska E., Okólski M. (2004). Zagraniczne migracje zarobkowe w Warszawie, in: J. Grzelak, T. Zarycki (eds),  Społeczna mapa Warszawy. Interdyscyplinarne studium metropolii warszawskiej, pp. 426-454. Warsaw: Wydawnictwo Naukowe Scholar.

Kindler M. (2011). A 'Risky' Business? Ukrainian Migrant Women in Warsaw's Domestic Work Sector. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.

Kindler M., Szulecka M (2013). The Economic Integration of Ukrainian and Vietnamese Migrant Women in the Polish Labour Market. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 39(4): 649-671.

Kindler M., Fedyuk O. (2014). Beyond Circulation? Transformation of Migration of Ukrainian Nationals to the European Union at Times of Economic Crisis. Unpublished manuscript.

Kohlbacher J., Reeger U. (2005). Residential Segregation, Housing Market and Immigrants, in: M. L. Fonseca, J. Malheiros (eds), Social Integration and Mobility: Education, Housing and Health, pp. 22-56. Lisbon: Centro de Estudos Geográficos Universidade de Lisboa.

Lewicka M. (2004). Identyfikacja z miejscem zamieszkania mieszkańców Warszawy: determinanty i konsekwencje, in: J. Grzelak, T. Zarycki (eds), Społeczna mapa Warszawy: interdyscyplinarne studium metropolii warszawskiej, pp. 273-315. Warsaw: Wydawnictwo Naukowe Scholar.

Lewicka M. (2014). What Makes Neighborhood Different from Home and City? Effects of Place Scale on Place Attachment. Journal of Environmental Psychology 30(1): 35-51.

Logan J. R., Spitze G. D. (1994). Family Neighbours. The American Journal of Sociology 100(2): 453-476.

Lutz H. (2008). Migration and Domestic Work. A European Perspective on a Global Theme. Aldershot: Ashgate.

Lutz H., Palenga-Möllenbeck E. (2011). Care, Gender and Migration: Towards a Theory of Transnational Domestic Work Migration in Europe. Journal of Contemporary European Studies 19(3): 349-364.

Malheiros J. (2002). Ethni-cities: Residential Patterns in the Northern European and Mediterranean Metropolises – Implications for Police Design. International Journal of Population Geography 8(2): 107-134.

Marcińczak S., Musterd S., Stępniak M. (2012). Where the Grass is Greener: Social Segregation in Three Major Polish Cities at the Beginning of the 21st Century. European Urban and Regional Studies, July 15, 2014, doi: 10.1177/0969776414537845.

Marcuse P. (2001). Enclaves Yes, Ghettoes, No: Segregation and the State, paper delivered at the conference titled ‘International seminar on segregation in the city’, Cambridge, 26-28 July 2001, the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.

Marcuse P., van Kempen R. (eds) (2000). Globalizing Cities: A New Spatial Order? Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

Markova E., Black R. (2007). New East European Immigration and Community Cohesion. York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

Massey D. S., Arango J., Hugo G., Kouaouci A., Pellegrino A., Taylor, J. E. (1993). Theories of International Migration: A Review and Appraisal. Population and Development Review 19(3): 431-466.

Massey D. S., Denton N. A. (1985). Spatial Assimilation as a Socioeconomic Outcome. American Sociological Review 50(1): 94-106.

Massey D. S., Denton N. A. (1993). American Apartheid. Segregation and the Making of the Underclass. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

McGarrigle J., Kearns A. (2009). Living Apart? Place Identity and South Asian Residential Choice. Housing Studies 24(4): 451-475.

Ministry of Labour and Social Policy (2013). Statistics on foreigners working in Poland. Online: (accessed: 30 June 2014).

Musterd S. (2005). Social and Ethnic Segregation In Europe: Levels, Causes and Effects. Journal of Urban Affairs 27(3): 331-348.

Musterd S., Andersson, R. (2006). Employment, Social Mobility and Neighborhood Effects. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 30(1): 120-140.

Napierała J., Górny A. (2011). Badania migrantów jako przedstawicieli populacji „ukrytych” – dobór próby sterowany przez respondentów (Respondent Driven Sampling), in: P. Kaczmarczyk (ed.), Mobilność i migracje w dobie transformacji, wyzwania metodologiczne, pp. 155-193. Warsaw: Wydawnictwo Naukowe Scholar.

Napierała J., Trevena P. (2010). Patterns and Determinants of Soft Sub-Regional Migration: A Case Study of Polish Construction Workers in Norway, in: R. Black, G. Engbersen, M. Okólski, C. Pantiru (red.), A Contintent Moving West? EU Enlargement and Labour Migration from Central and Eastern Europe, pp. 51-71. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.

Okólski M. (2010). General Introduction, in: A. Górny, I. Grabowska-Lusińska, M. Lesińska, M. Okólski (eds), Immigration to Poland: Policy, Employment, Integration, pp. 17-53. Warsaw: Wydawnictwo Naukowe Scholar.

Piekut A. (2012). Visible and Invisible Ethnic ‘Others’ in Warsaw: Spaces of Encounter and Places of Exclusion, in: M. Grubbauer, J. Kusiak (eds), Chasing Warsaw Socio-Material Dynamics of Urban Change since 1990, pp. 188-212. Frankfurt, New York: Campus.

Pinkster F., Völker B. G. M. (2009). Local Social Networks and Resources in Two Dutch Neighborhoods. Housing Studies 24(2): 225-242.

Portes A. (1997). Immigration Theory for a New Century: Some Problems and Opportunities. International Migration Review 31(4): 799-825.

Portes A., Sensenbrenner J. (1993). Embeddedness and Immigration: Notes on the Social Determinants of Economic Action. American Journal of Sociology 98(6): 1320-1350.

Sampson R. J., Morenoff J. D., Gannon-Rowley T. (2002). Assessing ‘Neighborhood Effects’: Social Processes and New Directions in Research. Annual Review of Sociology 28: 443-478.

Schönwälder S. (ed.) (2007). Residential Segregation and the Integration of Immigrants: Britain, the Netherlands and Sweden. WZB Discussion Paper, No. SP IV 2007-602. Online:
49762 (accessed: 15 June 2014).

Solari C. (2010). Resource Drain vs. Constitutive Circularity: Comparing the Gendered Effects of Post-Soviet Migration Patterns in Ukraine. The Anthropology of East Europe Review 28(1): 215-238.

Stanek M., Hosnedlová R. (2012). Exploring Transnational Practices of Ukrainian Immigrants in Spain. Economics & Sociology 5(1): 62-73.

Triandafyllidou A. (2006). Poles in Europe. Migration in the New Europe, in: A. Triandafyllidou (ed.), Contemporary Polish Migration in Europe. Complex Patterns of Movement and Settlement, pp. 1-22. Lewiston: The Edwin Mellen Press.

Triandafyllidou A. (2013). Circular Migration between Europe and its Neighbourhood: Choice or Necessity? Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Vertovec S. (2002). Transnational Networks and Skilled Labour Migration. paper delivered at the conference titled ‘Ladenburger Diskurs “Migration” Gottlieb Daimler-und Karl Benz-Stiftung’, Ladenburg, 14-15 February 2002.

Vertovec S. (2007). New Complexities of Cohesion in Britain. Super-Diversity, Transnationalism and Civil-Integration. Commission on Integration and Cohesion. Online: (accessed: 15 June 2014).

Vianello F. A. (2013). A Transnational Double Presence: Circular Migrations between Ukraine and Italy, in Triandafyllidou A. (ed.), Circular Migration between Europe and its Neighbourhood: Choice or Necessity?, pp. 187-211. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Völker B., Flap H. (2007). 16 Million Neighbors. A Multilevel Study of the Role of Neighbors in the Personal Networks of the Dutch. Urban Affairs Review 43(2): 256-284.

Wessendorf S. (2013). Commonplace Diversity and the ‘Ethos of Mixing’: Perceptions of Difference in a London Neighbourhood. Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power 20(4): 407-422.


Table 1. Number of close social ties in the four studied contact fields

Source: own elaboration based on RDS U Warsaw 2010, Centre of Migration Research.