Survey of Migration in Mainz

As a research field, migration was early on integrated into interdisciplinary research and it continues to be socially and politically relevant today. In Germany, heightened attention has been paid to migration research in light of the post-1945 return of German exiles and with regard to both the immigration and emigration of migrant workers recruited after the Second World War.

The history of Mainz, the capital city of Rhineland-Palatinate, bears traces of the international waves of migration in its fifteen neighbourhoods. The proportion of inhabitants with resident status who have an immigrant background (i.e., both residents from abroad as well as Germans who have an immigration background) has grown to 28.2 percent of the population, as of 2009. However, although much work has been done in theoretical research from a global perspective, very little has been done in Mainz to produce analyses that might enable further research in specific investigations and that would allow for certain observations about migration occurrences in Mainz.

Hence this comparative study will examine the current migration situation in Mainz.

The use of mapping and empirical investigation will result in a representative and comprehensive picture of the migration situation in Mainz. On the one hand, this will provide an indication of the temporal and spatial distribution of immigrants within the city’s neighbourhoods and on the other hand it will suggest the structure of the social life of Mainz’s current inhabitants with migration backgrounds. The different forms of organization in which Mainz inhabitants with migration backgrounds are engaged will be studied along with their structures and forms of perception.

This study of migration in Mainz will hence focus on the following facets:

  1. The historical development of Mainz’s history of post-1945 migration.
  2. Spatial and temporal mapping with regard to different migrant groups.
  3. Analysis of milieu, analysis of community.
  4. Analysis of forms of organization by people with a migration background (associations, communities, university groups, etc.).

The analysis of milieu examines the social environments and lifestyles of various people with migration backgrounds living in Mainz. The goal is to depict their everyday world, values, speech, and perspectives on meaning. In order to arrive at a statement about the networking between Mainz’s local communities of inhabitants with migration backgrounds and global communities in worldwide communication networks, a quantitative study together with questionnaire surveys will be carried out in each of Mainz’s neighbourhoods. The results of both analyses will be available in the form of digitized maps in GIS, the geographic information system.

Project Term: July 2010-Ongoing

Project Director: Prof. Anton Escher, Geographic Institute, JGU Mainz

Project Staff:
Katharina Alt, M.A., JGU Mainz
Nicole Merbitz, M.A., JGU Mainz
Eva Riempp, Cert. Geographer, JGU Mainz