Inter-level social processes within multi-sited migrant families
Kempf, Andreas Oskar
Sociology Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt Frankfurt/Main, Germany
Since the collapse of the communist regimes migration flows within Europe have increased and new patterns of migration have emerged. In contrast to former flows of the so-called Gastarbeiter migration today has become much more dynamic. Migrants oftentimes circulate embedded in strong and durable social networks between their country of origin and their country of destination. Nevertheless, migration today is highly regulated and restricted, that is why social relations are still highly structured by different national and inter-national border regimes.
After intensive field research in a Romanian village as a starting point of close network migration to Italy I focus on the biographical meanings of migration experiences for migrants and their families on different levels. On the basis of multi-sited and longitudinal field research in the country of origin as well as in the country of destination living within several families conducting biographical narrative interviews, additional semi-structured interviews and paticipant observation I analyse various dynamic and ongoing processes.
Besides the different levels on which migration acquires biographical significance according to the contexts of different life trajectories shaping and constantly (re)negotiating possible meanings of migration I have a strong research focus on transborder inner-family and intergenerational processes. Creating a theoretical sample I concentrate on several and differently contrasting individual cases of migrants and their families analysing the structure of the migration process itself and the impact of migration and its different local contexts migrants permanently keeping up agencies with on family lives, generational perspectives and the dynamics of biographies deeply influencing and creating new forms of family transmission. The biographical perspective of migrants and their family members on their own life experiences changes constantly not only due to modified political and juridical frameworks of mobility and of crossing borders but also, and related to this with regard to permanent and profound changes in their life courses and family life arrangements, and finally due to constant social changes taking place within their context of destination and especially within their context of origin.