AbstractThis article wishes to offer a contemporary reading of a classic piece of work within the field of migration studies. Although Thomas and Znaniecki’s book The Polish Peasant in Europe and America was published almost a century ago, between 1918 and 1920, it offers a model of research that is exemplary and it addresses a number of issues that have acquired new relevance today. After having lived through periods of alternate fortune and oblivion, this article argues in favour of a newly acquired centrality for this book. Although it is more often cited for its methodological innovations, I argue that The Polish Peasant should also be valued for the theoretical contributions it made to the understanding of migrations. In the wake of the current global era, in fact, Thomas and Znaniecki’s work should be of inspiration for researchers attempting to come to terms today with the increasingly transnational nature of contemporary migration flows.
Keywords: migration, transnationalism, assimilation theory, multi-sited research.