Transnational families

Migration Department

Project head: Dr. Franck Düvell

Project coordination: Dr. David Schiefer

Running time November 2018 until December 2020
Status Completed project

Migrations of individual family members can lead to the formation of transnational relationship structures. This also includes phenomena such as long-distance relationships, separated families, migration orphans or "Skype parents". In migration theory, there is agreement that migration and integration processes today cannot be understood without this transnational dimension. A review of the literature revealed that transnational families have so far mainly been studied using qualitative methods or with a view to individual groups of origin. In contrast, there is a lack of quantitative surveys (especially in Germany) and empirically sound knowledge about the prevalence and patterns of transnational family relationships and their effects on migration and integration processes. The aim of the project was to close this gap by developing relevant research questions and testing appropriate study designs.

Results: In order to study transnational families in Germany, among other things, indicators were developed and partially tested. These are to be incorporated into ongoing surveys of other institutes within the framework of tendered modules. In the long term, the identified questions can only be answered with the necessary differentiation by means of a separate population survey that also takes into account developments over time. Suitable concepts were discussed within the framework of the project. However, these require an appropriate budget for data collection. The project has resulted in a project paper, contributions to conferences and workshops as well as to an anthology. Currently, an article on the empirical recording of transnational family relationships is being prepared for an international journal. Another project was developed and implemented with the BMFSFJ on the topic of "family reunification in partnership".

Funding: Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (Institutional funding)