Ageing + migration = vulnerability? A case to the contrary

Schonheinz, Julia and Schröder-Butterfill, Elisabeth (2010) Ageing + migration = vulnerability? A case to the contrary. In, British Society for Population Studies Annual Conference, Exeter, GB,


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Socio-demographic research on ageing has increasingly examined the impact of migration on older people’s welfare and support networks. The basic tenor of such research is often that older people are ‘left behind’ by younger migrants, and that the very conditions encouraging outmigration by the young (poor economic prospects, inadequate state welfare, weak civil society) also add to the vulnerability of older people in sending communities. We examined old-age support arrangements among a German minority in Romania, who had experienced dramatic outmigration to Germany in the 1990s, leaving a severely distorted age-structure among the remaining population. Childlessness and small local but significant transnational kin networks characterise the study population. Contrary to expectations, we found little evidence of vulnerability among the older population. However, old-age security was less a function of remittances and other transnational family support, as has been documented in other studies of migration, but of strong local networks that emerged transformed out of long-standing ethnic institutions (including the Lutheran church) and inter-ethnic relationships. The paper draws on qualitative research (interviews, participant observation) conducted in Transylvania, Romania, in 2008

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Keywords: transnational support, migration, ageing, eastern europe, romania, germany, civil society, lutheran church
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Social Sciences
ePrint ID: 185391
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
14 September 2010Delivered
Date Deposited: 10 May 2011 13:27
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 13:38
Centre for Population Change: Understanding Population Change in the 21st Century
Funded by: ESRC National Centre for Research Methods (RES-625-28-0001)
Led by: Jane Cecelia Falkingham
1 January 2009 to 31 December 2013

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