This chapter discusses how immigrants re-define their personal, social, occupational and ethnic/national identities through the experience of migration, and how they position themselves in relation to the host society on the one hand, and the society of origin, on the other. Furthermore, we try to explain how identity – past, actual and possible selves (see Markus and Nurius, 1986) may affect the choice of strategies to cope with the difficulties posed by the labour market situation and policy environment in which the immigrant finds her/himself. The chapter draws on evidence from the migration of Poles to four EU countries (Italy, Germany, the UK, and Greece) to explore a number of theoretical problems related to relocation and identity: how immigrants make sense of their experiences and construct and reconstruct understandings of themselves and their larger social circumstances, the problem of using concepts of fixed identity when dealing with the processes of transition and dislocation, and the issue of the heterogeneity of identity among supposedly cohesive immigrant groups.
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