"Migration background": making and social reality of a scientific category

In 2005 seventeen new questions on migration entered the microcensus, the German representative population statistics. With the new questions on migration the so called migration background is generated. Hence the descendants of immigrants became visible in the official statistics as they were included in the group of “persons with migration background” even if they were born in Germany with German citizenship.
So far the invention, implementation and far reaching consequences in everyday life were rarely studied. To close this gap, this project deals with the invention and implementation of the discriminatory feature migration background in the microcensus and its consequences in everyday life. The study is situated in the intersection of different research fields as there are:1) anthropological inquiries in classification systems, 2) studies in the field of anthropology of knowledge and postcolonial studies and their occupation with the connections between knowledge, politics and everyday life, 3) science and technology studies and 4) research on national and ethnic memberships. These four theoretical references should be combined and interrelated through different empirical approaches.
These are a) research in statistical offices as the production facility of classifications, b) interviews with parliamentarians, responsible officers in ministries and statistical offices about the emergence and further development of the questions on migration in the microcensus, c) review of different migration backgrounds in other disciplines, d) mental maps of German belonging and ancestry, e) interviews with persons born in Germany who count as second or third generation immigrant and persons without migration background.
The results will reflect the impact of science on everyday life. Thus this study is meant to be a critical involved ethnography which contributes to a critical reflection of statistical generated classifications of humans.

Will, Anne-Kathrin Dr. (Details) (European Ethnology IV)

participating organizational facilities of the HU

Duration of Project
Start date: 03/2019
End date: 02/2022

Research Areas
Social and Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology

Last updated on 2021-04-01 at 17:49