Soziale Unterstützung und Care im Migrationskontext: transnationale Herausforderungen Sozialer Arbeit : Seminar, Master: Schwerpunkt B: Sozialpädagogik, Beratung und Intervention, Universität Salzburg

  • Kurzbeschreibung:  For a long time, social science conceived migration across borders predominantly as a one-time movement of people from one nation state to another where they remain permanently, virtually cut off from their former life. Hence, many academic and political contributions concentrated on immigration issues such as integration or assimilation of these “foreigners” within a national society. Since the 1990s, transnational studies tackled this view. Criticizing the methodological nationalism in migration research, the have highlighted that more than ever people maintain relationships and build networks across national borders to an exceptional degree, while new technologies and relatively cheap and fast opportunities for travelling abroad facilitate these processes. Relational Concepts such as “transnational social spaces” emphasize that people actively form spaces across borders through the flow of goods, ideas, money and persons, while all of this is shaped by, but not any more fully contained by national boundaries. This also means that people are embedded in processes of social support across borders, e.g. as the send back home remittances (i.e. money) to their families and communities. They try to maintain their care and educational responsibilities using Skype or telephone calls back home, as many have to leave their minor children or elder parents in their countries of origin. From a social point of view, transnational migration does not only bring about social support and care, but raises many challenges and complications in everyday live. For example, the award-winning documentary “Mama illgal” directed by the Austrian Ed Moschitz focuses on the situation of illegalized female workers from Moldavia in Austria and Italiy, Thus it has made this situation known to a wide public. Such examples make clear that the transnational life of many people calls for different systems of help and support than those institutionalized within the established welfare states. Nevertheless, to date, social work practice and social pedagogy have not addressed these issues seriously. One reason for this might be that social services are still organized in national systems and provided locally. Hence, the simultaneous embeddedness of possible clients in various nation states is not considered and their pluri-locality is not recognized. Therefore, it is primarily basic research that takes up these issues. For example, the research and training program “transnational social support” in social work and social pedagogy at the Universities of Mainz and Hildesheim (GER) investigates transnational care and social support across borders (, as well as the online journal “Transnational Social Review – A Social Work Journal” ( provides a platform for research-based knowledge in the field.