On SAGE Insight: Marriage migration and integration

From Ethnicities

In both policy and academic debates in Britain, as elsewhere in Europe, concern is increasingly expressed over the implications of spousal immigration for ‘integration’. Assertions that ethnic minority transnational marriages inhibit integration processes are common in both political and academic discourse and appeal to ‘common sense’ arguments concerning the cultural and socio-economic implications of what used to be referred to as ‘chain’ migration.

Through an examination of the evidence in recent studies, authors interrogate the impact which spousal immigration can have within differing domains of integration. Exposing the complex processes at play they demonstrate the need for future research to deploy a nuanced, more comprehensive concept of integration if it is to avoid simplistic assertions that these forms of marriage migration have a single, direct impact on integration processes.

Abstract

In both policy and academic debates in Britain, as elsewhere in Europe, concern is increasingly expressed over the implications of spousal immigration for ‘integration’. Continued practices of ‘homeland’ transnational marriage within some ethnic minority communities, in particular, are presented as problematic, and new immigration restrictions likely to particularly affect such groups are justified on the grounds of promoting integration. The evidence base to underpin this concern is, however, surprisingly limited and analysis is based on differing and often partial conceptualisations of integration. Through an examination of the evidence in recent studies, we interrogate the impact which spousal immigration can have within differing domains of integration. Exposing the complex processes at play we demonstrate the need for future research to deploy a nuanced, more comprehensive concept of integration if it is to avoid simplistic assertions that these forms of marriage migration have a single, direct impact on integration processes.

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Article details
Marriage migration and integration: Interrogating assumptions in academic and policy debates
Katharine Charsley and Marta Bolognani
Sarah Spencer
Ethnicities
DOI: 10.1177/1468796816677329

 

 

     
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