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