07 SES 12 B, Recent Studies on New Migration of Families from Greece – A Challenge for Migration Societies and Education Systems?
Since 2008, citizens from Southern European countries (Greece, Spain and Portugal) have experienced severe consequences resulting from the so-called financial and Euro crisis, which has prompted them to emigrate to Central and Northern Europe, Canada, and Australia. “While there has been a certain media hype about these new emigration waves from Southern European countries, little is known about who is actually emigrating, why they are leaving, where they are going, or for how long they plan to emigrate”(Triandafyllidou & Gropas, 2014, pp. 1614).
On the one hand, media reports suggest that the new Southern European emigrants are young, single, and highly skilled. Due to these circumstances, they are flexible and willing to emigrate in order to enhance their professional opportunities. Several research papers have addressed this so-called brain drain phenomenon, particularly by exploring emigration from Greece (Labrianidis, 2013; Labrianidis & Vogiatzis, 2013; Gropas & Triandafyllidou, 2014). On the other hand, there are media reports about families with small children who live in Greece, for instance, and who suffer from the severe deterioration of their living conditions as a result of the financial crisis. This deterioration pertains particularly to health and education. For example, there are reports that identify a percentage increase of cases of illness among children and the resulting negative consequences for their school achievement (Nikolaou, 2013). For these reasons, it is to be expected that also families with (young) children have already left the country or are currently preparing for migration. Initial empirical studies suggest that overall emigration from Greece has increased since the financial crisis (Damanakis et al., 2014).
This preliminary consideration and empirical question constitute the starting point of the present symposium. The three proposed contributions are connected by their shared research interest on families with school-aged children. Focusing on parents and children in migrant families means that these protagonists are not assessed as individuals or members of ethnic groups. The symposium therefore turns towards an area of research that Krüger-Potratz (as well as several papers in Geisen, Studer & Yildiz, 2014) highlights as a central desideratum in education and social sciences research: She points out that “the migrant family in and of itself has scarcely been considered and investigated as an object of research” (2013, pp. 31; translation by authors). The objective of the symposium is to explore this topic from different perspectives and by studying different protagonists: family members who are making preparations to emigrate in Greece (see the paper by Maipa, Tsiolis & Govaris) and family members who have already emigrated from Greece and experienced being newcomers in their respective countries over the past few years (the paper by Panagiotopoulou & Rosen address Greek immigrants in Canada and the paper by Gogon as focuses on Luxembourg). The three papers are connected because they address migration as a ‘family project’ and approach their research using qualitative methods in order to develop theoretical concepts about this new research field based on hypotheses. Additionally, the papers present latest research results; the process of data gathering began in 2014.
Damanakis, M., Constantinides, S. & Tamis, A. (Ed.). (2014). New Migration from Greece and to Greece (published in Greek). University of Crete: K.E.ME. Geisen, T., Studer, T. & Yildiz, E. (Ed.). (2014). Migration, Familie und Gesellschaft. Beiträge zu Theorie, Kultur und Politik. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag. Gropas, R. & Triandafyllidou, A. (2014). Survey Report: Emigrating in times of crisis. Highlights and new data from an e-survey on high-skilled emigrants from Southern Europe and Ireland. http://globalgovernanceprogramme.eui.eu/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/SURVEY-REPORT-Emigrating-in-times-of-crisis.pdf. Krüger-Potratz, M. (2013). Vier Perspektiven der Beobachtung im Themenfeld Migration – Familie – Bildung. In T. Geisen, T. Studer & E. Yildiz (Eds.), Migration, Familie und soziale Lage (pp. 13–36). Wiesbaden: VS Verlag. Labrianidis, L. (2013). Investing in Leaving: The Greek Case of International Migration of Professionals. Mobilities, 9(2), 314–335. Labrianidis, L. & Vogiatzis, N. (2013). Highly Skilled Migration: What Differentiates the ‘Brains’ Who Are Drained from Those Who Return in the Case of Greece? Population, Space and Place, 19(5), 472–486. Nikolaou, S. (2013). Kindheit und Wirtschaftskrise in Griechenland: Eine explorative Analyse der Presseberichterstattung ausgewählter Tageszeitungen. Diskurs Kindheits- und Jugendforschung, 8(2), 231–235. Triandafyllidou, A. & Gropas, R. (2014). "Voting With Their Feet": Highly Skilled Emigrants From Southern Europe. American Behavioral Scientist, 58(12), 1614–1633.
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