Baseline study on the situation and experiences of Somali migrants in Germany

(in cooperation with the Institute of Anthropology at the University of Leipzig, Dr. Markus Hoehne)
This baseline study aims at closing the huge gap of knowledge concerning Somali refugees, a significant group of African refugees in Germany. The research will be carried out by students from the university and by Somali migrants themselves, under the supervision by Dr. Markus Höhne (University of Leipzig) and Dr. Tabea Scharrer (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle). The project will explore which factors are important for the way people settle down in their new locations. Somalis often perceive themselves as 'second class refugees': they feel they do not receive the same support from the state as other refugees – particularly Syrians – would get. In addition, many Somalis do not have their cases decided quickly; they are kept in a limbo for many months and sometimes years; for a long time they found it more difficult to enroll themselves in German courses and were more often unemployed. The project will also explore if the migration histories of refugees vary according to pre-migration differences among them (e.g., in terms of education). Furthermore, it will be asked how the post-migration situation influences the perception of refugees. How did their ‘idea’ of Europe develop over the course of migration? What kind of image of Germany did Somali migrants have before they arrived, and how did it change? How does everyday racism and/or Islamophobia play out concerning Somalis in Germany? Furthermore, the research investigates if there is considerable ‘onward-migration’ within Europe, or if there are any deportations/voluntary returns happening from Germany back to Somalia, and if so, on which legal basis? Last, but not least, we ask how are these migration experiences and perceptions ‘broadcasted’ (via Facebook and other social media) to relatives and friends back home, and why?

Academic supervisors

  • Dr. Markus Hoehne (University of Leipzig)
  • Dr. Tabea Scharrer (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology)

Student researchers (all Leipzig University)

  • Inga Albrecht
  • Malika Autorkhanova
  • Vittoria Fiore
  • Monika König
  • Julia Kühl
  • Stephan Steuer
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