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Tightening early childcare choices – gender and social class inequalities among Polish mothers in Germany and the UK

Comparative Migration Studies. 2018;6(1):1-16 DOI 10.1186/s40878-018-0102-6


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Comparative Migration Studies

ISSN: 2214-594X (Online)

Publisher: SpringerOpen

Society/Institution: IMISCOE (International Migration, Integration and Social Cohesion)

LCC Subject Category: Social Sciences: Communities. Classes. Races: Urban groups. The city. Urban sociology: City population. Including children in cities, immigration

Country of publisher: Netherlands

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML



Karolina Barglowski (Technical University Dortmund, Institute of Sociology)

Paula Pustulka (SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Youth Research Center)


Double blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 13 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

Abstract Care for young children continues to highly influence the life chances of men and women, even more so when they are migrants. For migrant women, childcare remains a particular challenge when their kin are absent and the gendered norms of work and family life abroad diverge from what they have known in the country of origin. This article contributes to a deeper understanding of social class and childcare strategies of migrant women by combining two research projects with migrants from Poland to Germany and the UK. Accounts represented in this article depict the ways in which migrant mothers interpret and use the available childcare options, thereby highlighting how class-based resources are deployed and reproduced in two different welfare regimes. The comparative approach pursued in the article reveals that it is neither class nor national context that has a capacity to determine early childcare choices on its own. Instead, it is an intricate interplay of social protections’ availability, gender norms and social class, which together engender various childcare strategies.