Researching Transnational Social Spaces: A Qualitative Study of the Spanish Second Generation in Switzerland


  • Marina Richter University of Fribourg



space, place, transnational migration, second generation, Switzerland, Spain


Transnational social spaces, as they are increasingly researched in various fields of scientific inquiry and specifically in the area of transnational migration, constitute a complex field of research. This complexity raises, apart from theoretical questions, increasingly methodological ones. How can we research transnational social spaces? Which instruments and methods might be helpful in this endeavor? The article addresses these questions by presenting a methodological approach used in a project involving people of second-generation Spanish origin living in Switzerland. It discusses the theoretical anchors (time, people, and sites) that constitute the underlying logic of the approach and the various mixed-methods components such as biographical interviews, semi-structured interviews, visual materials, observation, and drawing. Finally, the conclusion consists of a critical reflection on the proposed methodology and the data gathered.



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Author Biography

Marina Richter, University of Fribourg

Marina RICHTER holds a PhD in geography and works as a researching and teaching assistant in sociology, social policies and social work at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland. She has conducted research on various topics in migration studies such as questions of identification, emotion and place attachment, or, recently, spatial aspects of transnational migration. The spatial focus is also important in her other fields of research, mainly on prisons.




How to Cite

Richter, M. (2012). Researching Transnational Social Spaces: A Qualitative Study of the Spanish Second Generation in Switzerland. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 13(3).