Dominika Studzińska

Articles

Determinants and diversification of socio-cultural activity among Polish migrants as exemplified by those in Berlin and Hamburg

Magdalena Szmytkowska, Dominika Studzińska

Przegląd Geograficzny (2022) tom 94, zeszyt 2, pp. 235-252 | Full text
doi: https://doi.org/10.7163/PrzG.2022.2.4

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Abstract:

Scientific studies do much to embrace the issue of social activity among immigrants, as well as their participation in projects of various types, in both institutional and non-institutional dimensions. Nevertheless, research into the activity of the Polish community in German cities has only rarely been undertaken. In this context, the studies carried out by the authors are of importance as they make clear an intensification of social activity among Polish immigrants in Berlin and Hamburg. An influx of new migrants, attracted to Germany not only by relevant economic motivations, but also by a perceived need for of self-development and greater acquaintanceship with new communities in place, tends to allow German institutions to take more interest in immigrant groups, while also sustaining activity within newly-created networks of immigrant organisations. The consequences of all that are for the social and cultural activity engaged in within the Polish community in the cities to become more and more visible and diverse. Although it is relatively new for these behaviours to assume such a large scale, the observed intensity and spatial scope may sustain the conclusion that even the near-future will bring a significant increase in visibility for the Polish community vis-à-vis both German citizens and immigrant groups.

Specifically, the work detailed in the present paper has mainly sought to identify socio-cultural activity among the Polish migrants present in both Berlin and Hamburg. This involved the authors in efforts to ascertain: (1) factors determining the socio-cultural activity of Polish communities in the cities studied; (2) any noticeable differences between Berlin and Hamburg when it comes to the social activity undertaken by Polish migrants; (3) the directions of development that characterise the institutional and non-institutional activity of the Polish community present in the cities in question (which were selected in line with the high concentrations of Polish communities in both, as well as differences in periods of influx and of a socio-cultural and economic nature). Only a relatively small number of scientific studies have ever been devoted to the social involvement of Polish migrants in the cities of Berlin and Hamburg.

Relevant research material was collected in 2019, in the course of 7 study visits to Berlin and Hamburg. The authors initiated the research procedure by way of focus-group interviews with 12 members of Polish-diaspora organisations. These respondents represented different age groups and waves of migration, and also occupied different socio-professional positions. 15 in-depth expert interviews were then conducted in Berlin and Hamburg. The survey was participated in by representatives of Polish authorities, German academics, founders and members of immigrant associations, Polish entrepreneurs and representatives of local media. Respondent data was anonymised and coded. A background for the qualitative research was offered by analysis of available statistical information obtained from the German Federal Statistical Office and Statistics Poland (GUS).

Research conducted for the purposes of this article leads to a conclusion that the social activity undertaken by Poles in Berlin and Hamburg is highly diversified, while that in Berlin is developing intensively and in many different directions. Analysis of material collected sustains the conclusion that the Polish communities in question pursue clearly different policies when it comes to the activation and opening-up of Polish organisations. While the activities of Poles living in Berlin are targeted at Poles, Germans and other ethnic groups, those characterising the Polish community in Hamburg are rather exclusive. Moreover, while the offer of the local Polish institutions in Berlin is relatively wide; in Hamburg, social and cultural activity is limited to the learning of Polish, promotion of Polish culture and maintenance of Polish identity.

Activity on the part of Polish migrants in the social space of German cities is thus seen to depend on many factors, of which the most important are: (1) the cultural, social, economic and political specificity of the host city; (2) the period of and motive for migration; (3) external financial support; and (4) migration trends. The openness of the Berlin authorities to initiatives taken by immigrant minorities is what encourages local leaders to take action for the benefit of Polish migrants and inhabitants of Berlin. In turn, the different specificity of Hamburg, and its authorities’ less-pronounced cooperation with immigrant groups, may represent obstacles to social activity being taken up by the Polish community on any larger scale.

Keywords: migracje, aktywność społeczno-kulturowa, Berlin, Hamburg

Magdalena Szmytkowska [geoms@ug.edu.pl], Uniwersytet Gdański, Wydział Nauk Społecznych
Dominika Studzińska [geods@ug.edu.pl], Uniwersytet Gdański, Wydział Nauk Społecznych

Selected aspects of the transformation in function, and permeability, of the Polish-Russian border

Dominika Studzińska

Przegląd Geograficzny (2019) tom 91, zeszyt 4, pp. 553-571 | Full text
doi: https://doi.org/10.7163/PrzG.2019.4.6

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Abstract:

Granica polsko-rosyjska jest granicą wyjątkową, a jej niezwyczajność wynika z roli obwodu kaliningradzkiego względem Rosji kontynentalnej oraz Unii Europejskiej (UE). Charakteryzuje ją znacząca dynamika zmian funkcji i stopnia przenikalności. Niewątpliwie powodów tych transformacji należy poszukiwać w zmiennych relacjach polsko-rosyjskich, ale również unijno-rosyjskich. Odgórne formowanie granicy, powoduje pomijanie jej znaczenia dla mieszkańców pogranicza, zmagających się z brakiem dostępu do stabilnej granicy. Celem niniejszego artykułu jest identyfikacja funkcji i stopnia przenikalności granicy polsko-rosyjskiej w latach 1990–2018.

Keywords: granica polsko-rosyjska, przenikalność granicy, funkcja granicy

Dominika Studzińska [geods@ug.edu.pl], Uniwersytet Gdański, Wydział Nauk Społecznych

Evolution of the Smart City concept and of research into it

Grzegorz Masik, Dominika Studzińska

Przegląd Geograficzny (2018) tom 90, zeszyt 4, pp. 557-571 | Full text
doi: https://doi.org/10.7163/PrzG.2018.4.2

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Abstract: The aim of the article is description of the concept and research of the smart city. Based on the review of international literature, the smart city idea is interpreted, indicating positive and negative aspects including the relationship between modern network technologies and the urban community. The smart city concept assumes the use of network infrastructure to improve the economic and political efficiency of resources and enable the development of urban areas. This development should be an intelligent and sustainable and should contribute to the improvement of the quality of life. The concept evolves over time and more and more attention is devoted not only to the technological infrastructure itself but also to its impact on urban communities. Questions are increasingly being asked about the impact of smart development on the improvement of human and social capital as well as on social polarization or social exclusion. Therefore, newer definition assumes that smart city is a city in which investments in human and social capital and traditional (transport) and modern (ICT) communication infrastructure fuel sustainable economic growth and a high quality of life, with a wise management of natural resources, through participatory governance. In this context different smart city schools can be distinguished. The scientific debate about the smart city concept covers not only issues related to the development of new technologies and solving problems of local communities, but also the impact of this concept on social and economic polarization. It can be noticed that in cities that undertake initiatives aimed at being called intelligent cities, on the one hand, the interests of residents and, on the other hand, companies implementing modern technologies, clash. The implementation of the smart city concept has its negative implications for urban development due to top-down management and the limited use of a bottom-up approach. For this reason, city residents should take an active part in the design, construction and management of cities.

Keywords: miasta inteligentne, inteligentny wzrost, zarządzanie miastem

Grzegorz Masik, Institute of Geography University of Gdańsk Bażyńskiego 4, 80-952 Gdańsk: Poland
Dominika Studzińska [geods@ug.edu.pl], Uniwersytet Gdański, Wydział Nauk Społecznych

The visa-free zone and tourism development in the Polish-Russian borderland

Dominika Studzińska

Przegląd Geograficzny (2014) tom 86, zeszyt 4, pp. 525-540 | Full text
doi: https://doi.org/10.7163/PrzG.2014.4.4

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Abstract: The opening of borders in 2012 changed a great deal where Polish-Russian relations are concerned. Before 2012, contacts between the citizens of Poland and inhabitants of Kaliningrad District were limited, with the border separating them being more in the nature of a barrier and line of separation restricting contacts between the neighbouring countries. A border of this kind was obviously a factor contributing to the peripherisation of the Polish-Russian borderland. In the whole of 2009 there were only 1 million crossings of the border in question. However, in the wake of the July 27th 2012 entry into force of the agreement on a visa-free zone and local border traffi c, more and more Russians from the Oblast of Kaliningrad chose to start visiting areas within the zone on the Polish side, as there are attractive from the tourism point of view, as well as offering places to relax and do shopping. In 2013 the number of crossings of the Polish-Russianborder exceeded 6 million.The introduction of visa-free traffi c has thus resulted in massive infl ows into Poland of inhabitants of Kaliningrad, who mostly spend their time in the large shopping centres, supermarkets and grocery shops. However, some Kaliningraders also travel to participate in the largest mass events held in Poland’s Tri-city of Gdańsk, Gdynia and Sopot, and they are becoming more and more visible in the cityspace. There is no doubt that the high level of cross-border shopping activity and travel now has a key role to play in the economic development of the Polish borderland. While Polish citizens do not visit Kaliningrad as often as Russians visit Poland, they do make frequent crossings of the border to purchase Russian petrol, this being a wise decision given the fact that it is only around half as expensive. Overall, the opening of the border has led to a development of cross-border tourism, at the same time helping to improve relations between Poland and Kaliningrad Oblast, in line with a general willingness to learn and discover that is helping to gradually overcome stereotypes functioning within the neighbouring populations.Tourism is now therefore a popular activity for many people, and the development of the attendant infrastructure is proving very important for what are peripheral areas located in the borderland. This is in line with a general tendency for the type and level of openness of borders to exert a major infl uence on the nature and extent of the tourism capable of developing in their vicinity (Timothy, 2000).The main aim of this paper has thus been to present the infl uence of the opening-up of the border on the development of tourism in the Polish-Russian borderland.

Keywords: granica, turystyka, mały ruch graniczny, granica polsko-rosyjska

Dominika Studzińska [geods@ug.edu.pl], Uniwersytet Gdański, Wydział Nauk Społecznych