The case studies in this volume illustrate the global dimension of flight and migration movements with a special focus on South-South migration. Thirteen chapters shed light on transcontinental or regional migration processes, as well as on long-term processes of arrival and questions of belonging. Flight and migration are social phenomena. They are embedded in individual, familial and collective histories on the level of nation states, regions, cities or we-groups. They are also closely tied up with changing border regimes and migration policies. The explanatory power of case studies stems from analyzing these complex interrelations. Case studies allow us to look at both “common” and “rare” migration phenomena, and to make systematic comparisons. On the basis of in-depth fieldwork, the authors in this volume challenge dichotomous distinctions between flight and migration, look at changing perspectives during processes of migration, consider those who stay, and counter political and media discourses which assume that Europe, or the Global North in general, is the pivot of international migration.

  • Eva Bahl is a researcher at the Center of Methods in Social Sciences, University of Göttingen. She has worked in the research projects “The social construction of border zones: A comparison of two geopolitical cases” (2014–2019) and “Biographies of migrants from Syria and West Africa in Brazil and in Germany – Processes of inclusion and participation in the context of so-called irregular migration” (since 2019), both funded by the German Research Foundation. Her research interests include interpretative research methods, ethnography, biographical research, migration and border studies, gender studies, collective memory and postcolonial theory.
  • Johannes Becker is coordinator of the project “Dynamic figurations of refugees, migrants, and longtime residents in Jordan since 1946: Between peaceable and tension-ridden co-existence?”, located at the Center of Methods in Social Sciences, University of Göttingen and funded by the German Research Foundation. His PhD thesis tackled the relationship between biographies and space, based on the example of the Old City of Jerusalem. His research interests include: biographical research, figurational sociology, migration, sociology of space, urban sociology, historical sociology, the Middle East.
  • Doreen Blume-Peiffer is a social and cultural anthropologist with research interests in migration, transnationalism, cultural and religious diversity, and multigenerational biographical research. For her master’s thesis she worked on transnational and transreligious networks in the Hindu-Tamil Diaspora in Germany. Since 2007 she has worked in the field of antidiscrimination and self-empowerment of Roma. Between 2017 and 2020, she was a researcher at the Center of Methods in Social Sciences at the University of Göttingen.
  • Sevil Çakır-Kılınçoğlu has a PhD in Middle Eastern studies from Leiden University, in the Netherlands. She is currently a research assistant at the Center of Methods in Social Sciences (MZS) at the University of Göttingen. Previously, she worked as a lecturer at Middle East Technical University, Northern Cyprus, and taught courses on social movements and the Middle East. Her research interests revolve around political violence, social movements, gender, qualitative methods, and biographical research.
  • Lucas Cé Sangalli did his master’s thesis on constructions of belonging of migrants from Haiti in southern Brazil at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil in 2015. Since 2019, he has been a researcher in the project “Biographies of migrants from Syria and West Africa in Brazil and in Germany – Processes of inclusion and participation in the context of so-called irregular migration” funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) at the Center of Methods in Social Sciences, University of Göttingen. He has been awarded a grant for doctoral studies by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). His doctoral project deals with changing belongings of people from Darfur (Sudan), along their migration courses to Europe. His research interests include biographical research, sociology of knowledge and figurational sociology, family sociology, and research on migration and ethnicity.
  • Maria do Carmo dos Santos Gonçalves recently completed her PhD thesis on the Senegalese religious diaspora in southern Brazil at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. She is collaborating as a researcher in the research project “Biographies of migrants from Syria and West Africa in Brazil and in Germany – Processes of inclusion and participation in the context of so-called irregular migration”. She is currently the director of the Scalabrinian Center for Migration Studies (CSEM), Brazil. Her research interests include ethnographical and biographical research, contemporary diasporas, refugee and migration studies, the Middle East and Islam
  • Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Obeng Codjoe is currently the parish priest of St. James Catholic Church, Osu-Accra. He holds a Post-Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) and an MPhil in Sociology from the University of Ghana, Legon. He teaches Sociology at St. Paul’s Catholic Seminary in Sowutuom, Accra and is a Consultant Researcher on migration for the Arrupe Jesuit Institute (AJI). Emmanuel Codjoe has lectured widely on pastoral ministry and migration and published four book chapters and articles.About the Authors
  • Hendrik Hinrichsen is currently lecturer at the Center of Methods in Social Sciences, University of Göttingen and researcher in the project “Dynamic figurations of refugees, migrants, and longtime residents in Jordan since 1946: Between peaceable and tension-ridden co-existence?”, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). He recently completed his PhD on the ‘Oslo Generation’ in Palestinian society in the West Bank. His research interests include biographical research, figurational sociology, generational research, Middle East studies and qualitative methods in social sciences
  • Lukas Hofmann has an MA in Sociology from the University of Göttingen. During his time as a student assistant at the Center of Methods in Social Sciences (Qualitative Research, Professor Dr. Gabriele Rosenthal), he did fieldwork in Melilla (Spain) and Kampala (Uganda). His research interests are biographical research, and refugee and migration studies. At the moment he is working as a research assistant in a project on the subjective relevance of action at an NGO in Berlin.
  • Katharina Inhetveen is Professor of General Sociology at the University of Siegen, Germany. Previously, she held positions as Professor of Political Sociology of the Non-OECD World at the Universität der Bundeswehr München, and as Professor of Sociology, especially Qualitative Research Methods, at the Ludwig-Maximilians- Universität München. Her main research interests include refugee and mobility studies, institutional analysis, the sociology of violence and the body, the sociology of music, and, as a cross-sectoral theme, gender-related issues.
  • Christian Jorgow obtained an MA in Sociology from the University of Göttingen and worked as a student assistant at the Center of Methods in Social Sciences under Prof. Dr. Gabriele Rosenthal. Currently he is working in social education at a recreation center for people with disabilities in Marburg.
  • Ana Mijić is a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Sociology at the University of Vienna. She was a visiting fellow at the IFK International Research Center for Cultural Studies in Vienna, and at the Trinity Long Room Hub Arts & Humanities Research Institute at Trinity College, University of Dublin. Theoretically based in the sociology of knowledge, her research focuses on identity and ethnicity, peace, conflict, postwar and migration studies. Her current research project “Postwar Diaspora(s): Cosmopolitan Nationalism?” is funded by the FWF, the Austrian Science Fund.
  • Ludger Pries holds a Chair of Sociology at the Ruhr University, Bochum. His main fields of research are sociology of migration in international comparison, transnationalization, organizations, work and labor regulation. He was Deputy President of the Expert Council of German Foundations on Integration and Migration (SVR) and held the Wilhelm-and-Alexander-von-Humboldt Chair at El Colegio de México. Recent books in English include Pries, L., 2018: Refugees, Civil Society and the State. European Experiences and Global Challenges. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
  • Gabriele Rosenthal is a sociologist and Professor of Qualitative Methodology at the Center of Methods in Social Sciences, University of Göttingen in Germany. Major research on the intergenerational impact of the collective and familial history on biographical structures and actional patterns of individuals and family systems. Actual research on migration, ethnicity, collective and armed conflicts, and trauma.
  • Fabio Santos is postdoctoral researcher in sociology at the Institute for Latin American Studies at Freie Universität Berlin and was a doctoral fellow at the German-Mexican Graduate School “Between Spaces”. He is currently working on a book manuscript based on his PhD thesis titled “Bridging Fluid Borders: Entanglements in the French-Brazilian Borderland”. His research focuses on global histories, interdependent inequalities, and the study of borders and spaces.
  • Christian Schramm is a Ph.D. candidate and Research Associate at the Chair of Sociology/Organisation, Migration, Participation at the Ruhr University, Bochum. In his PhD thesis he analyzes the dynamics of change in transnational family figurations and biographies of family members living in Spain and Ecuador. His areas of research are sociology of migration and empirical social research. ORCID 0000-0002-5141-126X
  • Victoria Taboada Gómez is currently lecturer and researcher at the Center of Methods in Social Sciences, University of Göttingen. She is working on a PhD engaging with the intersection between indigenous women’s biographies and historical events in Paraguay, and the discourses built around them. Her research interests include biographical and discourse research, studies on migration and gender, and topics around Latin American history and indigenous peoples.
  • Steve Tonah is Professor of Sociology, University of Ghana, Legon. He studied Economics and Sociology at the University of Cape Coast, Ghana (1978–1982) and at the University of Bielefeld, Germany (1986–1993). He has consulted for local and international organizations and collaborated with research institutions and universities in Africa and Europe. Tonah has published seven books, several journal articles and book chapters in the areas of migration and development, chieftaincy, Fulani pastoralism, farmer-herder conflicts, and ethnicity in Ghana. He is a fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences.About the Authors
  • Melanie Nayeli Wieschalla is a Ph.D. candidate and Rosa Luxemburg Foundation scholar at the Chair of Sociology/Organisation, Migration, Participation at the Ruhr University, Bochum. She graduated with a Master of Science in Geography, majoring in Urban and Regional Development Management at the same university. She is currently working on her doctoral thesis on organized violence in narratives of migration trajectories of Salvadoran and Mexican migrants in Mexico.
  • Arne Worm is working at the Center of Methods in Social Sciences, University of Göttingen. His PhD thesis (completed in 2019) deals with processes of refugee migration from the violent conflict in Syria. He has worked on the experiences and social positioning of refugees in various projects funded by the German Research Foundation: “Belonging to the outsider and established groupings: Palestinians and Israelis in various figurations” (2010–2015), “The social construction of border zones: A comparison of two geopolitical cases” (2014–2019), and “Biographies of migrants from Syria and West Africa in Brazil and in Germany” (2019–2021). His research interests include interpretative research methods, biographical research, figurational sociology, and sociology of refugee migration, belonging, and sociopolitical conflicts.

Publication Type: Anthology

Publication Category: University Press

Language: German, English

ISBN: 978-3-86395-454-3 (Print)

URN: urn:nbn:de:gbv:7-isbn-978-3-86395-454-3-6

Table of contents (14 Chapter)


  • Global Processes of Flight and Migration: How Case Studies Help to Understand Their Complex and Heterogeneous Character (Pages 9-21)Bahl, Eva; Becker, Johannes
  • Risking It All: Irregular Migration from Ghana through Libya to Europe and Its Impact on the Left-Behind Family Members (Pages 25-40)Tonah, Steve; Codjoe, Emmanuel
  • Zur Lebenssituation und Zukunftsperspektive von eritreischen Geflüchteten: Geflohen nach Israel – deportiert nach Ruanda/Uganda – gestrandet in Kampala (Pages 41-61)Rosenthal, Gabriele; Hofmann, Lukas
  • Von Zentralafrika nach Brasilien und Französisch-Guyana: Transnationale Migration, globale Ungleichheit und das Streben nach Hoffnung (Pages 63-82)Santos, Fabio
  • Migrants and Refugees from Ghana and Haiti in Southern Brazil: Familial Constellations and Processes of Escape (Pages 83-102)Cé Sangalli, Lucas; dos Santos Gonçalves, Maria do Carmo
  • Zur Verbindung einer transnationalen mit einer biographietheoretischen Perspektive in der Fluchtforschung: Migrationsverläufe im Kontext des syrischen Bürgerkrieges (Pages 103-122)Worm, Arne
  • Flight Trajectories and Changing Camp Perceptions: Divergent Evidence from Zambia and Angola (Pages 125-144)Inhetveen, Katharina
  • Traces and Sediments of Organized Violence in Biographical Narratives of Migrants in Mexico (Pages 145-162)Pries, Ludger; Schramm, Christian; Wieschalla, Melanie
  • Transformatorische Fluchtverläufe: Migration aus lokalisierten Milieus und Etablierung in einem neuen Kontext am Beispiel irakischer Geflüchteter in Jordanien (Pages 163-181)Becker, Johannes; Hinrichsen, Hendrik
  • (Non-)Belonging in the Context of War and Migration: Reconstructing the Self-Examinations of a 1.5 Generation Refugee (Pages 185-200)Mijić, Ana
  • Staying Politically Active in Exile: Kurdish Activists in Germany (Pages 201-219)Çakır-Kılınçoğlu, Sevil
  • Building Localities without a Heimat: A Biographical Analysis of Migration and Activism in Germany (Pages 221-237)Taboada Gómez, Victoria
  • Transnationale Verflechtungen und transgenerationale Folgen von Verfolgung, Flucht und Migration: Familien- und Lebensgeschichten von Roma aus Ex-Jugoslawien (Pages 239-254)Blume-Peiffer, Doreen
  • Geflüchtete Yezidinnen aus dem Irak: Leben mit der kollektiven und individuellen Verfolgungsvergangenheit (Pages 255-273)Jorgow, Christian