GSB 7.1 Standardlösung

Forced Migration and Transnational Family Arrangements – Eritrean and Syrian Refugees in Germany (TransFAR)

Content and Objectives

Transnational families, whose family members remain in their country of origin while one or more family members migrate to other countries, are a phenomenon that has increasingly become the focus of academic research since the end of the 1990s. However, up to now only a few studies have dealt comprehensively with transnational family constellations in the context of refugee migration. Both the original migration decision and the situation in the destination country depend not only on the migrating people themselves, but also on their family context. The aim of the project is therefore to investigate the relationship between different family constellations and the changes caused by the migration and the lives of the refugees in Germany.

The project, carried out in cooperation with the Research Centre of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, analyses the forms, structures and regional localisation of transnational families. In addition, not only the occurrence of transnational families will be examined, but also their changes as a result of migrants staying in the destination country, continuing migration or returning to their country of origin, or family reunification. The spatial separation of individual family members induced by migration changes the relationships within a family: It will therefore also be examined how relationships with the remaining family members in the country of origin are maintained and which family exchange processes exist. Furthermore, the interactions between family constellations and social networks and social integration in Germany will be investigated.

Data and Methods

This project is based on a quantitative survey of female and male refugees aged 18 to 45 who emigrated from Eritrea and Syria to Germany within the last 5 years. The empirical study therefore focusses on two states that have played a significant role as regions of origin in the recent German migration balance and will most likely be of central relevance for the future development as well.

Es ist dabei eine zweistufige Stichprobenziehung auf Basis des Ausländerzentralregisters geplant, bei der in einem ersten Schritt eine Auswahl der Ausländerbehörden und in einem zweiten Schritt eine Zufallsauswahl an Personen erfolgen soll.

Die quantitative Erhebung wird zusätzlich um eine qualitative Befragung ergänzt, die vertiefende Informationen zu den familiären Konstellationen erfasst.




This project is carried out in close cooperation between the Federal Institute for Population Research and the Research Centre of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees.

Project team at the Research Centre of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees:

  • Dr. Susanne Schührer
  • Dr. Manuel Siegert
  • Dr. Anja Stichs


Ette, Andreas; Swiaczny, Frank (2016):

Geographische Rundschau 4/2016: 48–57 .

Sauer, Lenore; Dorbritz, Jürgen; Ette, Andreas; Stedtfeld, Susanne (2016):

Bevölkerungsforschung Aktuell 2/2016: 2–12.

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