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12/14/2020 | Pressemitteilung

Flight and migration - what does that do to families?

Migration, flight and the associated separations, changed living conditions and integration experiences mean that families have to reorganize their upbringing. At the University of Kassel, a team led by Prof. Dr. Manuela Westphal is now conducting a study on parenting in refugee families. Starting in 2021, data will be collected from families of African origin in various cities in Germany.

Image: Kassel University
f.l.: Prof. Dr. Manuela Westphal, Dr. Sina Motzek-Öz, Samia Aden (M.A.)

For refugees, there has not yet been any empirical research on how family relationships and thus also parenting change. The project "DyFam - Change and Dynamics of Family Generational Relationships in the Context of Flight and Asylum", funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) with 435,220 euros, aims to contribute to the further development of a theory of family upbringing and, in doing so, to map family realities in the context of flight in a differentiated way.

"There is an urgent need for basic knowledge and concepts for educational and socio-educational fields of action," emphasizes Westphal, professor of socialization with a focus on migration and intercultural education at the University of Kassel.

The study examines family education using the example of families primarily from Somalia in Germany. In particular, the research team is interested in the role played by experiences of flight and asylum and cross-border, extended generational relationships, and which family dynamics become significant pedagogically, for example also for early childhood education institutions. Westphal and research assistants Samia Aden (M.A.) and Dr. Sina Motzek-Öz assume that while relationships exist in the country of origin, transit or other destination countries, the maintenance of these is severely restricted by residence law.

Until 2023, various qualitative data (including family photographs and natural conversations) will be collected and analyzed in case families. Currently, the team is planning access to the families, which involves multilingualism, ethical and intercultural aspects, as well as current hygiene requirements.



Prof. Dr. Manuela Westphal
Department 01 Human Sciences
Institute of Social Sciences
Department of Socialization with a focus on Migration and Intercultural Education

Phone: 0541-7502980
E-mail: mwestphal[at]uni-kassel[dot]de