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Session Overview
RN13_10b_P: Migrant, Multicultural and Transnational Families II
Friday, 01/Sep/2017:
2:00pm - 3:30pm

Session Chair: Ruth Abramowski, University of Salzburg
Session Chair: Lynn Jamieson, University of Edinburgh
Location: PD.4.36
PANTEION University of Social & Political Sciences 136 Syggrou Avenue 17671 Athens, Greece Building: D, Level: 4.

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Gender and intergenerational differences in the “hybridization” process of Muslim migrants. A case study from Milano (Italy)

Donatella Bramanti, Stefania Giada Meda

Catholic University of Milan, Italy


The research intends to explore the characteristics and positioning of the migrant Muslim population in Milano (Northern Italy) regarding the intercultural encounter and possible forms of exchange and “hybridization” with the receiving society. The general aim is to explore the basis of and the possibility of a reciprocal “hybridization” with the Italian culture and values.

The key concept orienting the research is “hybridization”, a metaphorical notion usable for understanding the cultural exchange between persons and communities with different backgrounds.

The analyses are carried out in the light of gender and intergenerational differences, as these are the two main axes able to identify and define the family.

The research is based on quantitative data, collected by means individual questionnaires. Two hundred eleven participants were recruited amongst the Muslim communities in Milano in 2014 (52% males, 48% females; 60% first-generation immigrants aged 35-72, 40% second-generation immigrants aged 18-34).

Data analysis is based on indexes, cluster analysis, and logistic regression.

The findings show considerable differences between men and women, and between first-generation and second-generation immigrants. The second generation is less identified religiously, less observant of practices, less convinced of the political role of Islam, with more frequent exchanges with non-Muslims, and a higher level of “hybridization”. Women (from both first and second generation) are more likely to interact with non-Muslims and more open to “hybridization”. Finally, the analysis identified a group of men aged 30-50 of recent immigration that are marginalized, discouraged, with a low attitude to “hybridization”.

Patriarchal Racialization: Marriage Immigrants and Multicultural Families in South Korea

Seonok Lee

University of British Columbia, Canada

This research project examines the everyday life experiences of two categories of marriage immigrants in South Korea: foreign brides and foreign husbands from South and Southeast Asian countries. Drawing upon ethnographic research on marriage immigrants, their family (so called multicultural family) and Koreans, this paper argues that the racialization of immigrants plays a central role in reproducing patriarchal family structures, which contemporary Korean women are increasingly resisting. This article offers a theorization of the intersectionality of racialization and patriarchy - not typically analyzed in its co-formation - through what the author calls ‘patriarchal racialization’. Patriarchal racialization is a gendered racialization process whereby for foreign brides, patriarchal gender roles are emphasized in order to minimize racial differences, while for foreign husbands, racial differences are emphasized to exclude them from the national community. Thus, children of a Korean father and a foreign mother are seen as racially closer to Koreans than the children of a foreign father and a Korean mother. Patriarchal racialization creates a link between the belief in paternal blood lineage and the idea of race. Patriarchal racialization creates an opportunity for working class and rural Korean men and their family members to exercise their power by re-entrenching patriarchy in the micro-sphere of the family. It offers them a way to maintain their dignity despite their socially disadvantaged class position. While patriarchal family relations are gradually eroding in Korea, the Korean state attempts to define Korean culture as conservative and patriarchal by constructing women marriage immigrants as patriarchal frontiers.

Migration and Intergenerational Cash Flows in Europe

Bettina Isengard, Ronny König, Marc Szydlik

University of Zurich, Switzerland

Intergenerational transfers are important manifestations of functional solidarity in contempo-rary societies. Especially in times of societal crises and the withdrawal of the welfare state, intergenerational support is an important characteristic of (grand)parent–child relationships. Research on intergenerational solidarity patterns has revealed considerable cohesion and sup-port in Europe. However, previous studies have mainly addressed the causes and consequenc-es of intergenerational solidarity patterns of natives, whereas the population of foreign origin has often been neglected.

Therefore, the paper investigates in a joint view and in a multigenerational perspective an especially relevant form of functional solidarity. The paper addresses (a) differences and simi-larities in intergenerational cash flows between migrant, interethnic and native families, (b) differences within migrant families, as well as (c) variations across Europe. The empirical analyses are based on the fifth wave of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Eu-rope (SHARE), including 14 European countries The analyses employ a multigenerational and multi-ethnic perspective by investigating the relevance of intergenerational cash flows of at least 5,000 euros from (a) the respondents aged 50 years and older to their own adult children and b) from elderly parents to the SHARE-participants.

Overall, our analyses prove that European family generations are connected by considerable financial transfers. Furthermore, migration matters for receiving cash from parents and for giving high monetary transfers to offspring. Here, clear differences in the extent of intergen-erational cash flows become apparent when considering the complexity of migration according to household composition, duration of stay and country of origin.

Germany’s Integration Politics in Practice: The Early Experience of Chinese-Speaking Highly Skilled Female Family Migrants

Chieh Hsu

University of Heidelberg, Germany

Germany does not officially recognize itself as an immigration country and imposes integration-oriented regulations before and after entry on family migrants, its dominant and “accepted” mode of immigration. This paper examines how the concept of integration, a state-anticipated and -stipulated goal, is connected to the migration trajectory of skilled female family migrants married to German husbands. Based on participant observation and semi-structured interviews with 21 Chinese-speaking women across Germany, I focus on how these women mobilize resources to overcome “hurdles” of entry requirements, how they define and interpret their tasks and obligation of integration upon arrival, and the dynamics of their intercultural marriage and household, as well as its impact on their integration. Drawing from symbolic interactionism and interactional role theory, this paper proposes to view these women as occupants of the “wife” and the “migrant” roles, and to conceive their early acculturation as a rivalry between preestablished self-conceptions and new circumstances in the host society. This research unveils, with a small and ethnic-specific sample, how acculturation unfolds in the context of Germany’s integration politics and how this experience alters the self-conceptions of skilled female family migrants, a population hitherto scarcely explored. This paper’s findings also complement theories of immigrant integration and assimilation.

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