The experience of immigration has a special impact on the lives of immigrants and their descendants. The thesis takes a look at the second and third generation of immigrants. In immigrant studies, the aspect of gender should not be overlooked, so the main focus of the thesis is on adolescent girls of immigrant origin.
The theoretical part begins with some of the main features of migration and immigrants, along with an overview of the differences between first- and second-generation immigrants. I continue with a description of primary and secondary socialization and their impact on the identity-forming process. Identity and it’s different conceptions are dealt with in a separate chapter. In the context of migration, interactional approaches to identity are most important, represented by authors such as Berger and Luckmann, Goffman, and Mead. Furthermore, I describe the concepts of ethnic and national identity, while the last chapter reviews the role of gender in migration. I highlight the social theory of gender and related ways of socialization, and finally their importance for research about migration.
The empirical part presents conclusions from interviews with adolescent girls of immigrant origin and a classroom-observation process. The research shows that the girls generally experience their life situation and their environment as positive. They assume similar roles in their families – besides school obligations, they also help with the housework and take care of younger siblings. They have similar visions about the future – wishing for success particularly in education and later in their career. The findings from the observation process can meanwhile also be related in many ways to the interviews, which provides a more comprehensive overview of the subject of research.