Partnership Formation in the Context of Forced Migration of Refugees from the Middle East to Europe

Wednesday, March 27, 2024 - 11:30am to 1:00pm
Thompson Hall 919

Join us for international guest Professor Irena Kogan, Professor of Comparative Sociology, University of Mannheim and Project leader at the Mannheim Centre for European Social Research (MZES) who is visiting UMass on a scholar in residence grant this March!

Against the backdrop of the 2015/16 refugee migration, which brought many young unmarried men from Syria and Afghanistan to Germany facing challenges in finding co-ethnic (marriage) partners, our study explores (1) the partnership patterns of Syrian and Afghan refugees and examines to what extent they reflect (2) refugees’ partnership preferences and (3) the partnership preference of the German population, including those with a migration background. Utilizing a newly collected first wave of the PARFORM data, comprising approximately 2700 male refugees, we present a comprehensive overview of their partnership patterns since arriving in Germany. Additionally, through virtually identical factorial survey experiments conducted in two datasets—the 9th wave of the CILS4EU-DE and the 1st wave of the PARFORM survey—we compare partnership preferences on both sides. This comparison involves testing for alignment on key characteristics such as education, religion, and religiosity. By juxtaposing partnership patterns with preferences, our study aims to enhance understanding of the role preferences play in the process of partnership formation between refugees and members of the host society.

ISSR is pleased to co-sponsor this event organized by the by the UMass Sociology Department's Colloquium and Special Events Committee (CASEC). Sponsored by Sociology, The SBS Migration Working Group, SBS and The Researcher Mobility Program of the State-to-State Program Baden-Württemberg.


Irena Kogan holds a chair in comparative sociology at the University of Mannheim. Her research interests are in the area of social inequality, migration research and labour market sociology. In particular, her research focuses on structural, social and cultural aspects of immigrant integration, transition from school-to-work, as well as the role of human capital and social and cultural resources in these processes. Interest in the role of countries’ institutional characteristics in explaining societal processes drives her research, which is largely internationally comparative. 

Kogan has been involved in a number of large-scale projects. She is a PI in two projects: “Partnership formation in the context of refugee migration” (PARFORM) funded through the ERC Consolidator Grant and “Upwardly mobile through STEM? STEM competences, participation and returns among ethnic minority women and men in Germany” (STEMobile), funded by the Thyssen Foundation. She is co-directing the German part of the “Children of Immigrants Longitudinal Survey in Four European Countries” funded by German Research Foundation. She is also involved in the Horizon2020 project PIONEERED and one of the speakers of the Knowledge Network on Racism Research – Exchange and further development of racism research. Subproject: Regional Network South (WinRa). 

Irena Kogan is the author of a number of articles in leading international journals including European Sociological Review, Social Forces, Sociology of Education, Social Science Research, International Migration Review, Sociological Science, Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, Acta Sociologica, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, and others. She is an elected Fellow of the European Academy of Sociology (since 2009), an Associate Fellow of the D-Lab “Advancing the study of discrimination and inequality” (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain) and an External Fellow, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration, University College London (since 2010).