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Families with Migrant Background: A Historical Study on the “Turkish Families” in Germany from the 1970s to the 1990s

  • Journal of Humanities
  • 2015, (58), pp.271-303
  • Publisher : Institute for Humanities
  • Research Area : Humanities > Other Humanities
  • Received : July 21, 2015
  • Accepted : August 6, 2015

Jung Yong Suk 1

1대구대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This study deals with the immigrant families in Germany. Since the 1970s, families of foreign origins have represented a not-insignificant force in reproductive behavioral changes in West Germany. The Sixth Family Report (2000) defined the Federal Republic of Germany as a de facto modern country of immigration from a social and cultural perspective. The report focused especially on families of Turkish origin because of their large number and their uniqueness. They were known to preserve traditional ideas about the community life, gender roles, and specific ethnic or religious orientation, passing them onto their children. There are strict customs among this cultural minority, especially directed at Turkish women. In a migrant family, the order of migration influences a balance of power among family members – especially between spouses. A large proportion of Turkish women came to Germany first in order to marry and had problems in terms of adaptation. This is due not only to their traditional values or the lack of language skills, but also to their isolated way of life in the so-called “Turkey town,” where there is limited opportunity for interaction with the neighboring German society. These women have fixed roles as housewives with a large number of children. The employment rate of Turkish women as a whole in the Federal Republic was very low. Young Turkish women are grossly under-represented in the apprenticeship market. By the early 1990s, this ratio had “normalized,” but a mismatch still existed.

Citation status

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This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.