Migration and Sexual Resocialisation: The Case of Central and East Europeans in London
Based upon a survey of more than three thousand respondents and forty in-depth interviews, the aim of this article is to examine the impact of migration on sexual resocialisation. In particular, we show how living in London influenced the attitudes of Central and East European migrants towards pre-marital sex and homosexuality. While the general acceptability of pre-marital sex was not affected by time spent in London, differences were noted in the meaning attached to sex outside marriage in the United Kingdom compared with Central and Eastern Europe. Particularly significant changes were observed in our respondents’ attitudes towards homosexuality, with a greater liberalisation the result of extrication from mechanisms of social control, re-socialisation into new social norms regarding sex and sexuality, greater visibility of sexual difference in London and, in particular, inter-personal contacts with gays and lesbians. Limitations to the general liberalisation of attitudes were also noted.