International Women's Day Colloquium: Migrant Women and the Process of Constructing Space: Results of a Spatial Analysis on Integration in Fulda

Tuesday, March 8, 2016
11:30 AM - 01:00 PM


Room 244, JPL Library
School of Social Work
Jocelyn Hermoso, PhD


Professor Martina Ritter will present her research conducted in a part of Fulda, Germany where migrants from several nations are living, some of whom are concentrated in special districts. She will outline her findings based on narrative interviews with inhabitants of the district Ziehers‐Nord, including women of migrant backgrounds from Russia or the former Soviet Union holding German passports, and German nationals who have been long‐term residents of Ziehers‐Nord. This study conceptualizes integration as constructing and reconstructing social space in a given society. Women have traditionally been responsible for organizing privacy and family life. Those with children often stay at home, work part‐time, or, in the case of migrant women, organize family life in new and stressful situations. Individuals undertake integration by constructing social space. This study explored the following questions: What do the respondents do to organize the individual and family life in the district? What steps do they take to make themselves feel at home? Which areas do they use or construct for their private and family life? A comparison of responses from migrant women and non migrant Germans helps to better understand the strategies that migrant women use to overcome feelings of alienation that they experience and identify the barriers to integration.


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