The four-year collaborative project Qualification and Skill in the Migration Process of Foreign Workers in Asia (QuaMaFA) investigates the role of skills in labor migration in major migrant receiving market economies in (South)East Asia. The team consists of five young migration scholars who combine sociological, psychological, and anthropological disciplinary perspectives. The QuaMaFA members conduct research in Japan, South Korea, China, Singapore, Vietnam, and India and use the team’s expertise in:
– international migration, migration policies and migration infrastructures;
– migrant integration and well-being;
– skilled migration, lifestyle migration and student migration;
– return migration;
– gender, race, class & generation in migration;
– and transnational networks
to answer the following questions:
How are skills and qualifications defined differently in Asia’s major migrant receiving market economies? How do skills shape migration experiences in Asia? Which role does the agency of migrants play for acquiring additional skills and labor market integration? How do these factors influence further (geographical or socioeconomic) mobility and staying decisions?
The project adopts mixed-methods and uses an intersectional perspective with the goal to understand the link between migrant agency and structural conditions in migrant retention in Asia’s aging knowledge economies Japan, Singapore, and South Korea. The team will combine qualitative methods – semi-structured interviews, participant and ethnographic observation, and visual ethnography – with a quantitative cross-sectional survey. Next to academic publications and use of the findings in university teaching, the research group conducts public lectures, engages in a high school teacher training, and produces a documentary as a visual version of the research for a wider public outreach. The academic network of QuaMaFA – including the four domestic research institutions and the five overseas partner institutions – promises to raise Germany’s profile in international research on aging market economies, international labour markets and migration and hopes to serve as a platform for practical research outcomes and methodological innovation.
Dr. Ruth Achenbach, project lead (Goethe University Frankfurt)
Dr. Joohyun Justine Park (Goethe University Frankfurt)
Dr. Aimi Muranaka (University of Duisburg-Essen)
Dr. Megha Wadhwa (Free University of Berlin)
Dr. Helena Hof (Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity)