Intergenerational Family Solidarity of Immigrants from Two Successor States of Former Yugoslavia Living in Austria

Ursula Trummer, Sonja Novak-Zezula


Intergenerational Family Solidarity (IGFS) is important for social
cohesion and challenged by migration. Scientific evidence on
how migrants sustain IGFS is scarce. In 2016, 421,875 migrants
from different Former Yugoslav Republics were residing in
Austria, the majority coming from Bosnia and Herzegovina
(162.021) and Serbia (137.057). Immigrants from these
countries are predominantly economic migrants who came in the
1960s and refugees of the Balkan wars in the 1990s. A literature
review showed that intergenerational solidarity in migrant families
in Austria is hardly covered by previous research. No published
studies explicitly dealing with this subject were found. To generate
more understanding, three migrant women who migrated as
refugees in the 1990s from Bosnia and Serbia were asked about
their family structures, family life, and family solidarity through
semi-structured in-depth interviews based on qualitative sociological
method. Results show that although immigration has
weakened IGFS in terms of frequency of contact, high normative
solidarity prevails and results in feelings of guilt and non-met
family responsibilities. Support of parents and relatives is
sustained by sending money and goods to the home country.


Intergenerational Solidarity; Migrants; Social Cohesion; Integration; Normative Solidarity

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Print ISSN 1330-0288 | Online ISSN 1848-6096