Von „Polen in Amerika“ zu „Amerikanern polnischer Herkunft“.
Migration, Diaspora und ethnische Imaginationen 1870–1930
“Poles in America” to “Americans of Polish descent”. Migration, Diaspora, and Ethnic Imagination, 1870–1930 19th century Polish mass emigration became an issue of political and ideological struggles early on, leading to intense reciprocal effects between societies of origin and destinations. While emigrants to the USA first tended to hang on to imaginations of local “smaller homelands”, nationalizing actors and agencies ultimately succeeded in transforming them into a nationally conscious diaspora (Polonia), rallied around the cause of Polish independence. Nationalpatriotic engagement reached a peak during and immediately after World War I, with the diaspora actively supporting Polish war efforts and diplomacy. In the early 1920s, though, a rapid alienation set in, due to ideological cleavages between political elites in Poland and abroad, to frustrating personal experience, last not least to US politics of identity. Over the following decade, the “myth of home” collapsed, as Polonia institutions and its constituencies increasingly re-identified as “Americans of Polish descent” rather than as “Poles abroad”.