Reflecting on concepts in migration research
Questioning theoretical, conceptional and methodological foundations of migration research is a focus of the „Foundations of Migration and Integration Research“ Cluster. These questions often result from the interdisciplinary work within the BIM. In this respect the Foundation Cluster’s task is to discuss theoretical and methodological issues with other clusters of the BIM and to provide suggestions concerning both the design of research projects and the evaluation of research data. This is a challenge for well-established categories such as „migration background“ or concepts such as integration, inclusion or diversity. Thus, reflecting on concepts and research results enables us to develop new research questions and to create innovative concepts for the study of migration.
Operationalisation of theoretical concepts for migration research
One central contribution to the research on migration is the empirical operationalisation of theoretical concepts like integration, migrant or discrimination. Exemplary questions would be: How do common classifications of migrants, e.g. by country of birth, coincide with the person´s self-perception or the perception of others by members of mainstream society? What do affected people experience as discriminatory and how does discrimination evolve empirically within German society? How can we empirically understand the institutional obstacles that often prevent the implementation of intercultural standards?
Collection of quantitative and qualitative data in societies of migration
The researchers of the Foundations cluster support the BIM researchers in collecting, archiving and documenting primary data on migration. The researchers assist others in distributing their projects and data to the academic community and in hosting guest researchers in the Institute. Concerning the qualification of graduates, the researchers at the Foundations of Migration and Integration cluster offer suggestions on university teaching, analyzing conceptual and empirical issues on migration topics, as well as on reviewing master’s and doctoral theses.