Kinship, inter- and intraethnic social networks and refugees' division of housework




refugees, gender roles, housework, network, kinship, IAB-BAMF-SOEP survey of refugees, Germany


Objective: This article investigates the role of social connections - kin proximity, premigration friends, and exposure to intra- and interethnic contacts in the host country - in the division of routine housework in refugee couples in Germany.

Background: Although social connections are established as an influential factor in the economic and societal integration of newcomers, the role of such connections for the household division of labor among immigrant couples is less understood.

Method: Pooled OLS and fixed-effect models were applied to four waves of the longitudinal IAB-BAMF-SOEP Survey of Refugees (2016-2019) to study coupled refugees of working age (1,045 couples, 2,699 couple-years).

Results: We find that social connections are significant to the gendered division of routine housework among refugee couples. In particular, networks consisting of new inter- and intraethnic contacts are more influential than those consisting of kins and premigration friends. Moreover, it appears that the kin and new coethnic contacts of the husband are negatively related to their involvement in housework in absolute hours and relative to their wives. Husbands' new contacts with Germans are positively related to their involvement in routine housework. In turn, wives’ contacts with Germans are not associated with a more egalitarian division of housework.

Conclusion: Social networks may provide useful explanations for immigrants' domestic behavior, and they should be considered in setting up new policies that guide their integration.

Author Biographies

Yuliya Kosyakova, The Institute for Employment Research (IAB)

Yuliya Kosyakova, Dr., is Senior Researcher in the Migration and International Labour Studies department at the Institute for Employment Research (IAB), head of the Project IAB-BAMF-SOEP Survey of Refugees (with H. Brücker), head of the Project Survey of Ukrainian Refugees 2022 (with H. Brücker and S. Schwanhäuser), and Associate Lecturer at the Chair of Sociology (Social Stratification) at the Otto-Friedrich University of Bamberg. Her current research interests are economic disadvantage and integration of refugees and other immigrants, gender, and social inequalities. Her work has been published in various academic journals inter alia European Societies, European Sociological Review, International Migration Review, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Public Opinion Quarterly, Sociology of Education, and Work, Employment and Society.

Nevena Kulic, University of Pavia

Nevena Kulic is an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Pavia, Italy. 

Her research is located within the topics of social stratification, educational inequality, women in the labour market and education, intra-household dynamics, and adult and child well-being. Her work was published in The Annual Review of Sociology, Work, Employment and Society, European Sociological Review and Sociology among other journals.




How to Cite

Kosyakova, Y., & Kulic, N. (2022). Kinship, inter- and intraethnic social networks and refugees’ division of housework. Journal of Family Research, 34(2), 802–822.