The sociology of migration is a branch of migration research and examines the phenomenon of migration from a special sociological perspective. The causes and consequences of moving house have been systematically analyzed using sociological categories since the 1920s. Often questions about the socio-structural patterns of migration movements, but also about the integration of different cultural influences (or their assimilation or acculturation ) within a political territory, are in the foreground of interest.
Concept of migration in sociology
In sociology, migration or migration refers to the permanent change of place of residence of people in geographical and / or social space. International migration is the change of residence across national borders. The duration of the stay abroad is irrelevant for the definition of migration, as long as it is not a tourist-motivated stay, nomadism or permanent change without permanent residence. However, migration movements have changed and differentiated in the last few decades. Evidently, the migration behavior of low-skilled and high-skilled people differs. Highly qualified people in particular are opening up opportunities and options as a result of globalized labor markets . Because of this differentiation, it is not possible to define migration and mobility in a uniform manner. Han defines migration as permanent or temporary relocation to another country. Its definition has the advantage of being very general. Their disadvantage lies in the resulting arbitrariness. Recent empirical studies suggest that migration decisions are strongly influenced by socio-cultural factors. Whether and to what extent these findings can be generalized beyond the examined contexts, however, remains to be clarified.
Migration, migration and related terms
- Any permanent (i.e. not just temporary) change of residence counts as migration . Together with tourism and traffic , migration is classified under the generic term spatial mobility (synonymous: geographical mobility). Migration is also summarized under the term horizontal mobility , but this mostly only describes a certain type of social mobility , namely a less or more regular local job change within the same social class . Migration with the aim of leaving the parish of the birth in order to settle in another place and to integrate into a new parish (national migration) is not an unusual phenomenon and has always been attested ( see also neolocality ).
- International migration is a special case of migration, namely emigration (emigration) from one and immigration (immigration) in another country, so a change of residence across national borders, and transmigration (Permigration) . “International migration” is therefore synonymous with “international migration”.
- Flight migration (the migration of refugees ) is forced. In 1951, the Geneva Refugee Convention defined the term “refugee”.
- Transmigration describes the commuting of migrants between places of residence in different cultures. Transmigrants are characterized, among other things, by high formal qualifications and spatial mobility while maintaining social ties to their society of origin. Associated with the term are questions of identity formation (keywords: “third-culture kids”, biculturalism, multicollectivity ).
- Empirical studies show that the qualifications of migrants have an influence on their identity and that it is especially highly qualified people who do not (no longer) define their identity in terms of nation states. Highly qualified people are those who, according to the international classification of occupations, can be assigned to the ISCO-88 code and to groups 1–3 therein.
- Söllner assumes that it is the multiple identities of highly qualified people and their worldwide networks that lead to their identification with nation states decreasing. Instead, the specific transaction costs of this group can favor the orientation towards global “peer groups”.
History, assumptions and terms of the sociology of migration
In general sociology, migration is understood as a special form of horizontal social mobility . According to migration researcher Elçin Kürşat , the special sociology deals with the causes and effects of migration, including a. with the consequences of the development gap that migration can trigger, with the phases a migrant goes through in the process of the new psychological structuring, with the psychological problems and conflicts that he has to cope with; also with the effects of migration on the relationship between the spouses, between parents and children, with relatives in the country of origin and in the immigrant colony, and with the cultural influence of migrants in the host society.
There were three topics that frequently moved the early sociology of migration: the migration movements of the "merchant peoples" ( Etruscans , Florentines , Jews ), which Max Weber and Werner Sombart already dealt with from a historical perspective, and the emigration of the impoverished rural population from Europe and the emergence of the American melting pot from the immigrant flows.
The classics of migration sociology include studies that deal with the status of the foreigner in the host society. In his sociological classic, Excursion on Foreigners (1908), Georg Simmel asks himself what structure a wandering group - here he has above all the Jewish traders in mind - develops in contrast to a sedentary group and what influence wandering has on the forms of Socialization and exercise on the receiving environment. Robert Ezra Park , the founder of the Chicago School of Sociology, ties in with Simmel's work in Human Migration and the Marginal Man (1928) and describes the situation of urban migrant subculture and marginalized minorities. In their work The Polish Peasant in Europe and America (5 volumes, 1918–1920), Florian Znaniecki and William I. Thomas use autobiographical material to examine the disorganization of Polish peasant communities, migration to the USA and the development of ethnic colonies and transnational networks . This work became an important work in American sociology of migration. In The Stranger (1944), Alfred Schütz analyzes the situation of people who have given up their group of origin and who, through the breakdown of their everyday orientations, become aware of their constant “being foreign”, but who are also able to assimilate successfully . In her monograph The Refugee: Shape of a Turning Point (1948), Elisabeth Pfeil examines the consequences of the east-west shift of a large part of the German population after 1945. Shmuel N. Eisenstadt developed a three-phase model of migration in the 1950s. Nathan Glazer and Daniel Patrick Moynihan criticized the assimilation model in Beyond the Melting Pot (1963) and developed it further in the direction of a pluralism theory based on the study of the Afro-American, Puerto Rican , Jewish, Italian and Irish minorities in New Work .
Migration and identity
Cultural identity is the idea of people in a certain group or milieu to be different from other groups. The image of others and the image of oneself are usually very different from one another. Migrants find themselves in an inter- or transcultural “space in between” between different cultures. Migration will not simply strip them of identity; rather, they can develop dynamic and multiple identities. Conversely, migration has an impact on the identity formation of the people in the immigration country. Their national or cultural identity is also shaped by immigration or the rejection of immigration. Immigration and national identity are thus in a dialectical relationship to one another.
As the empirical study of the migration behavior of Russian academics to Germany and the study of German-Turkish migration biographies show, socio-cultural factors influence the qualifications of migrants, their self-location and identity. Academics in particular often see themselves as part of the global scientific community and choose migration destinations based on research clusters or conditions. Their identity is no longer determined by nation states, but by their qualifications. A break with the society of origin and a subsequent assimilation in the host society (which was assumed in some migration theories) no longer takes place. Social identities are formed correspondingly differently. B. in Third Culture Kids can be hybrid or bi-cultural. As far as the German-Russian migration context is concerned, the assumption by Waters (1995) also seems to be confirmed that an existing “migration history” favors further migration because it leads to the transmission of images and ideas about the potential target society so that it serves as a projection surface and generates multipliers.
Since a constant cultural reference system is an essential prerequisite for a “stable” social identity development, migration can represent a problematic life event that has a significant impact on a person's psyche. These negative consequences are often referred to with the metaphor (cultural, social, ethnic) “uprooting”.
The Greek word éthnos describes the delimitation of its own peculiar traditions by assigning self and other people. Ethnic barriers are therefore the result of an individual, selective worldview . As a rule, ethnic groups define themselves either from a shared past, shared values or a shared future perspective. The common ground is passed on through a collective memory and is reflected in traditions, language, religion, clothing or food. American researchers developed the term ethnicity in the 1960s when they tried to fathom the failure of the idea of the melting pot and to explain the existence and continuation of ethnic identities within a modern nation- state. The classic idea of the melting pot manifested the amalgamation of many cultures into a society with equal rights ( multiculturalism ) and was based on the idea of overcoming ethnic boundaries and voluntarily subordinating them to a common national identity. The research showed that the ethnic interactions associated with this socialization process are based on the individual convictions of the individual members (Schweizer, 1993: 593 f.). It doesn't matter whether your own perception is correct or not. Ethnicity is nourished solely from the knowledge of the counterpart and the attribution of certain characteristics in the form of an enemy image . (Schweizer, 1993: 600f).
In an ethnically stratified society, ethnic minorities are those population groups that differ from the majority society. Due to social dynamics, there is often the risk that they will be disadvantaged, oppressed or stigmatized . The means to an end are allegations of behavior that deviates from the perceived normality ( delinquency ), discrimination or prejudice . A distinction is made between regional and national minorities, immigrant minorities, new national minorities and colonized minorities. The literature usually uses the terms minority and ethnic minority synonymously .
The German social science studies "which deal first with the guest workers and their families, followed the prevailing social consciousness well into the 1970s" . The preoccupation with foreigners stiffened on a sociological special case and ignored the results of international migration research. Only in the course of time did ethnic minority research find its way into the German sociology of migration. ( Hoffmann-Nowotny 1973, Harbach 1976, Esser and Friedrichs 1980, 1990, Heckmann 1981, 1992)
Assimilation and acculturation
After Shmuel Eisenstadt
Eisenstadt (1954) examined assimilation in connection with Jewish immigration to Israel and developed a three-stage concept. He divides the individual phases into the decision to migrate , the migration itself and the absorption by the host society. Absorption stands for the absolute adjustment to the majority society. The willingness to be swallowed up by society is based on the motivation to migrate . The absorption only succeeds if the migrant turns away from his old values in the course of re-socialization and orientates himself entirely to the values of the host society and corresponds to the associated role expectations . However, absorption is the exception rather than the rule, as ethnic minorities do not disintegrate. The respective culture thus remains plural structured and ethnically stratified . Eisenstadt's absorption corresponds in essence to assimilation, which also requires the radical transformation of the value structure of the individual .
In 1964, Gordon divided assimilation into seven stages. Gordon sees acculturation , cultural assimilation, as the first sub- process . The individual phases do not necessarily have to be run through in full and do not necessarily build on one another, so that integration goals can also be achieved in individual areas. Gordon focuses on going through “ Structural Assimilation ”. According to this, integration is largely dependent on the ability of migrants to integrate into the institutions of the majority society.
According to Hartmut Esser
Esser, in turn, differentiates using a three-layer model. The approach between immigrants and host society consists of the phases of acculturation, in which the migrant learns the cultural customs and assimilation as an experience of the similarities with regard to their own equipment and orientations. This is followed by integration through the experience of equal status. The sustainable integration of members of a minority and their identification with the majority population is based on acceptance of their own person and religion by the majority society. If the majority rightly expects immigrants to respect the norms of a constitution, the minority must also be allowed to invoke them.
Esser does not only see the immigrant as the obligation to bring, but also brings the respective parameters of the host society into play. The more positive the immigrants' assessments and the lower their internal resistance and the more blurred society is, the higher the probability of assimilative engagement. This endeavor also depends heavily on the respective motivation to migrate, which is usually less pronounced in the case of a temporary migrant worker than in the case of a person who comes with the intention of finally relocating the center of life to the host society. This migration concept, in turn, may lead to the formation of ethnic colonies in the first generations .
In contrast to the models of assimilation, there is also the phenomenon of ethnic colony. The immigrant shows little or no interest in gradually assimilating and approaching the host society, which does not require this either. For a temporary migrant worker, an assimilation or even integration stands in the way of his life concept of saving up a small fortune and returning. He left his home country for economic reasons and did not intend to stay in the host country until he was old.
The formation of ethnic colonies is now becoming important. These are spatial and territorial units with diverse, self-organized networks of relationships among immigrants. According to Heckmann, the ethnic colony is a transitional stage for immigrants to cope with the inevitable problems with the majority society, i.e. a kind of retreat to avoid initial difficulties. Ethnic colonies often disintegrate over the course of the generations, as more and more individuals break away from them.
There is also segregated living in the form of ghettos and gulags . In the latter, however, the respective residents are forcibly crowded together. Ethnic colonies are more of a mental village community, which makes it easier for older immigrants in particular to withdraw from the many unfamiliar impressions of the foreign mainstream ( dominant culture ) and thus also to find their way around a new world.
Labor migration: brain drain / brain gain
The sociology of migration describes the emigration of qualified workers from an area as brain drain . In contrast to the more neutral term of elite migration, the term emphasizes the economically feared losses of an emigration of valuable human capital for the country of origin. Similarly, the term brain gain describes the potential opportunities that can result for the country of immigration from an increase in qualified workers. Caregiver migration is an example of human capital drain and is known as the care drain .
Discussions about the advantages and disadvantages of brain drain and brain gain often neglect the aspect of exchange, e.g. B. is important for scientists or artists, and focus above all on the economic benefit or damage.
Some brain drain theories consider that the option to migrate creates an educational incentive that can lead to educational expansion. Since not everyone who is considering a migration actually migrates, and since some return, the migration can end up in spite of the brain drain and the like. U. has an overall positive effect on the human capital of the country of origin. The development spurt that can result in connection with business start-ups, investments, transfer of know-how and technology as well as through the diaspora networks of returnees is also summarized under the term brain circulation .
Historical migration movements
The migration of the peoples of late antiquity , which is usually limited to the years 375-568, is particularly noticeable when looking at history. However, migration has taken place for thousands of years in the form of mass migrations. It was often associated with wars to conquer the new homeland, but on the other hand it was often politically desired and promoted.
The term mass migration generally describes a migration movement in which a large number of people from one ethnic group or an entire ethnic group move to another area. The reasons for this can be very diverse, as a rule, deteriorated living conditions are decisive.
Modern examples are the Swabian Train , immigration to the United States and immigration from Turkey to the Federal Republic of Germany ; involuntarily the Atlantic slave trade and the eastward expulsion .
Analysis of the sociology of migration: The example of successful integration in the city of San José
In 2001, ZEIT dealt extensively with the sociology of migration in the city of San José in California. In the 1990s, the US took in 12 million more people remaining in America than ever before, with 12 million immigrants ( Peter Skerry , Brookings Institution ). The number of Latin Americans rose by 58 percent and that of Asians by 48 percent. Most of them settled in the southwest and on the west coast.
The population of San José, California, was made up of 177 nationalities. In the course of time, the formerly white majority became a minority due to the large influx of other ethnic groups. The proportion of whites halved within ten years and lost its status as a leading culture based on nativism . In 1970 whites still made up 80 percent of the population; in 2001 it was a third. The other two thirds were divided between Latinos and Asians, while the proportion of blacks was very low. The redeployment took place without any riots or protests. Three out of four of the former majority welcomed this change. Since then, the "minorities" in the city have made up the majority. Social integration was therefore voluntary.
The city itself had grown rapidly and the number of residents had doubled to a million in 30 years through mass immigration. Given the high rate of immigration, there was no ghettoization in San José like Detroit , Washington, DC or Cincinnati . This uniqueness allowed the so-called "Californian experience" to be established. For Bill Clinton, San José represented the “first truly multiethnic democracy in the world” and he certified that the people living in cultural diversity were politically integrated, that is, “American”. The essayist Robert D. Kaplan assumes that America can use the example of San José to avert the hitherto inevitable decline of all great empires "by shedding its skin as a nation state and underneath it an international civilization emerges".
The result was "the well-groomed equilibrium of a middle-class meritocracy whose amalgam are the values of the suburbs". The market, which only differentiates according to performance, takes on the equalizing effect of the leading culture. Interracial marriages are the most common life alliances. The almost unrestricted connubium among socially equals reflected the unbiased attitude of the individual ethnic groups represented.
The access to education and political institutions was open to all immigrants. With Proposition 209, the whites took away the government's support for minorities from the blacks, and with other popular initiatives directed against Latinos, they cut health care for illegal immigrants and bilingual education. As a result, many of the immigrants entered the electoral roll and became politically active. According to the electoral law, the representation of interests of minorities could not be blocked. As a result, the composition of the candidates and the authorities corresponded to the existing ethnic diversity. As a rule, the city administrations took the first step towards the immigrants and actively campaigned for their participation in commissions. Just like the many peacefully competing cultural associations, which gave the newcomers of the first generation a little sense of home and stability.
Every second freshman in the neighboring city of Berkeley in 2001 was of Asian origin. The first American city with an Asian majority society developed in Milpitas, which is also neighboring.
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- Migration policy
- Illegal migration
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