Ageing + migration = vulnerability? A case to the contrary

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


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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)
Venue - Dates: British Society for Population Studies Annual Conference, United Kingdom, 2010-09-14
Keywords: transnational support, migration, ageing, eastern europe, romania, germany, civil society, lutheran church

ePrint ID: 185391
Date :
Date Event
14 September 2010Published
Date Deposited: 10 May 2011 13:27
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2017 02:16
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