Transnationality and Social Inequalities of Migrants in Germany

Fauser M, Voigtländer S, Tuncer H, Liebau E, Faist T, Razum O (2012) SFB 882 Working Paper Series; 11.
Bielefeld: DFG Research Center (SFB) 882 From Heterogeneities to Inequalities.

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Abstract
The relationship between people’s transnational ties and practices and their social position is subject to a controversial debate that suggests a dualistic picture. While there seems to exist a group of highly educated people who benefit from transnational mobility and networks, for migrants the maintenance of transnational ties to their ‘old homes’ appears to lead to a social mobility trap, and thus to further marginalisation. Yet, the relationship between transnationality and social inequality has so far attracted little systematic exploration. This paper traces the association of transnationality with social inequalities among migrants in Germany. The discussion is led by results from US studies while these, and the few available European studies, have investigated particular groups and used selected indicators in relation to both transnationality and social inequalities. In order to contribute to a better understanding of the relationship, this paper proposes a concept of transnationality as heterogeneity that distinguishes various dimensions of transnationality. In this respect, the analysis concentrates on financial, personal, identity-based and cultural practices. As a marker of heterogeneity, transnationality may be related to the production of social inequalities, understood as differential opportunities to participate in society. These, in turn, are based on the availability of economic, cultural and social capital. Using these concepts, the association between transnationality and social inequalities will be analysed by employing data from the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) which contains a relevant sub-sample of migrants as well as a number of transnational items. The analysis focuses on the question whether or not this association is marked by a dualistic pattern as suggested in the current debate. To this end, it investigates how the different dimensions of transnationality are related to the various forms of capital relevant for social inequalities. As it turns out, the analysis identifies no uniform pattern. To the contrary, different dimensions of transnationality are differently associated with the various forms of capital. More often than not, those persons who engage in transnational practices in the various dimensions are those who have higher levels of capital at their disposal. Frequently, however, the relationship is by no means clear-cut.
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Fauser M, Voigtländer S, Tuncer H, Liebau E, Faist T, Razum O. Transnationality and Social Inequalities of Migrants in Germany. SFB 882 Working Paper Series. Vol 11. Bielefeld: DFG Research Center (SFB) 882 From Heterogeneities to Inequalities; 2012.
Fauser, M., Voigtländer, S., Tuncer, H., Liebau, E., Faist, T., & Razum, O. (2012). Transnationality and Social Inequalities of Migrants in Germany (SFB 882 Working Paper Series, 11). Bielefeld: DFG Research Center (SFB) 882 From Heterogeneities to Inequalities.
Fauser, M., Voigtländer, S., Tuncer, H., Liebau, E., Faist, T., and Razum, O. (2012). Transnationality and Social Inequalities of Migrants in Germany. SFB 882 Working Paper Series, 11, Bielefeld: DFG Research Center (SFB) 882 From Heterogeneities to Inequalities.
Fauser, M., et al., 2012. Transnationality and Social Inequalities of Migrants in Germany, SFB 882 Working Paper Series, no.11, Bielefeld: DFG Research Center (SFB) 882 From Heterogeneities to Inequalities.
M. Fauser, et al., Transnationality and Social Inequalities of Migrants in Germany, SFB 882 Working Paper Series, vol. 11, Bielefeld: DFG Research Center (SFB) 882 From Heterogeneities to Inequalities, 2012.
Fauser, M., Voigtländer, S., Tuncer, H., Liebau, E., Faist, T., Razum, O.: Transnationality and Social Inequalities of Migrants in Germany. SFB 882 Working Paper Series, 11. DFG Research Center (SFB) 882 From Heterogeneities to Inequalities, Bielefeld (2012).
Fauser, Margit, Voigtländer, Sven, Tuncer, Hidayet, Liebau, Elisabeth, Faist, Thomas, and Razum, Oliver. Transnationality and Social Inequalities of Migrants in Germany. Bielefeld: DFG Research Center (SFB) 882 From Heterogeneities to Inequalities, 2012. SFB 882 Working Paper Series. 11.
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