IASAÖ - Paths of Integration of refugees granted asylum or subsidiary protection from Afghanistan in Austria

Changing value concepts and expectations

Objectives and research questions

This project aims to offer an analysis of the changes in value systems and expectations of refugees from Afghanistan granted asylum in Austria in the course of their social and structural integration processes into the education system and the labour and housing market. The survey is spatially focused on Afghans living in Vienna, Lower and Upper Austria, which also includes unaccompanied minors over the age of 18 with diverging duration of stay, different ethnic and religious background and varying socio-demographic variables (age, level of education etc.). In official statistics, men are largely dominating this ethnic community. Thus, as a targeted research strategy a higher proportion of women will be included in the sample (oversampling). This will enable us to investigate the specific features of female integration biographies. Access to the respondents will be gained by existing networks within the Afghan community. A set of 60 narrative interviews will be conducted by native speaking interviewers in the languages Farsi-Dari, Pashto and Uzbek.

The target group for the results is diverse: Public administration on national and municipal levels, integration policy, actors in the field of migration and integration (NGOs such as the Red Cross, Caritas, Diakonie, Volkshilfe, AMS). There is a general deficit of analysis on this group of refugees in Austria in general and their integration biographies and value change (religiosity, family concepts, gender role models, political values) in particular. This research gap could be identified within a pilot study of the ISR and the BMEIA financed “Value Study” as well. The number of refugees from Afghanistan has considerably risen since 2015.


The most important aims of the project are as follows: To contribute to a more objective discourse in the media and public about refugees from Afghanistan with ‘hard’ empirical results; to analyse a broad range of politically charged issues (ideological concepts, religious values, role models, integration orientation); and to create scientific foundation for decisions made by political decision-makers in the field of integration policies.


More information and first results are provided on the Societal Impact Plattform of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Vienna.

ISR-Project team

  • MMag.DDr. Josef Kohlbacher
  • Marie Lehner, BA


  • Institute for Social- and Cultural Anthropology, University of Vienna (IKSA) Ass.-Prof. Mag. Dr. Gabriele Rasuly-Paleczek
  • Doris Friedrich, MA 


March 2017 to February 2018