This article follows the migratory experiences of four ethnic Polish and Jewish families from Poland in the aftermath of World War II. It focuses on their agency—choices and decisions—at the time of their displacement, showing that they all improvised or acted creatively, at times outside legal bounds, to find new homes. This article places their agency within gendered family dynamics and the broader social, cultural, and economic contexts. While the postwar displacement by and large maintained gender inequalities, it also created conditions in which the most constrained family members (women and children) could exercise meaningful action by using the available models and resources and inverting the traditional family roles.

You do not currently have access to this content.