On January 21st Dr. Katarzyna Andrejuk presented a paper: ‘Immigrant entrepreneurship in Poland. Ethnicity as a cultural script, strategy of maximizing profits and as a barrier in the business activities of immigrants.’
The aim of this project is to examine the immigrant entrepreneurship of different ethnic groups in Poland. Immigrant entrepreneurs of various diasporas “manage” their ethnicity differently in the situation of migration. The social reconstruction of ethnicity seems particularly interesting in the case of entrepreneurs because their business activity is a manifestation of integration with the host society, yet this integration appears in groups which differ fundamentally in the aspect of the attachment to their ethnicity. I distinguish between two groups of immigrant entrepreneurs: non-European immigrants (for whom ethnicity is an important factor in business activities), and intra-European immigrants, originating mostly from EU Member States, for whom ethnicity is demonstrated mainly in private life, while in their enterprises it plays a less important role – because of the processes of Europeanisation and cultural proximity.
In my project I will describe different modes of social reconstruction of ethnicity: as a cultural script, strategy of maximizing profits and as a barrier in business activities. Main assumptions of the project concern the process of ethnicity management in immigrant enterprises and the integration potential of such entities. Various strategies of ethnicity management can be situated on a scale between two extremities: first of them is emancipation from the ethnic environment, the second one – social practices aimed at closing up in the ethnic community. The most balanced strategy pursues economization of ethnicity and has the highest integration potential. Various qualitative methods are envisaged (interviews with immigrants and state officials, case studies, analysis of official statistical data, legal and policy documents).