In narrative and theme-centred interviews, Syrian war refugees are invited to recount their lives and experiences of refuge, and to reflect on desirable models of social coexistence.
The interviews with Syrian refugees are conducted also with a view to further development of anthropological theories relating to the dynamics of the ethno-religious segmentation in the Middle East, with an emphasis on local-cultural concepts and socio-cultural mechanisms.
Hypotheses with regard to the following topics are to be generated using a grounded theory approach:
- The ‘previous’ everyday environments of the refugees in Syria with particular reference to their ethnic/religious integration:
What were the personal circumstances of interview partners on the outbreak of the civil war and before that? How do they view the socio-political developments associated with the so-called 'Arab Spring' and how do they consider that the ethnic and religious tensions arose? What levels of escalation and radicalisation are interviewees able to identify?
- Phases of the refugee experience:
To what extent is this displacement phenomenon a reflection of the ethnic and religious segmentation of Syria? What role do family and other support networks play when it comes to the decision to flee Syria, take a specific route or with regard to the choice of target country? What form do the collective and personal identity constructs of the refugees take and how are these evolving?
- Current situation in Austria:
How do Syrian refugees perceive the various native population groups in Austria? Do refugees have specific normative expectations with regard to their host society/societies? To what extent is the ethnic and religious segmentation of Syrian society mirrored in the way that refugees chose to settle in Austria and in their interactions with fellow refugees? What 'integration strategies' do interviewees have and what are their plans for the future?