Breakfast Briefings

Marriage Migration

Breakfast Briefings / 17 June 2016

Open Society Foundation, 7th Floor, Millbank Tower, 21-24 Millbank, London, SW1P 4QP

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How is marriage migration related to integration? 

In Britain, as elsewhere in Europe, concern is increasingly expressed over the implications of marriage-related migration for integration. In some ethnic minority groups, significant numbers of children and grandchildren of former immigrants continue to marry partners from their ancestral homelands. Such marriages are often presented as problematic from an integration perspective, and new immigration restrictions likely to impact particularly on such groups have been justified on the grounds of promoting integration. The evidence base to underpin this concern has, however, been surprisingly limited, and is characterised by differing and often partial understandings of the contested concept of integration. This briefing report is based on a two year ESRC-funded research partnership between the University of Bristol and Oxford. The mixed-methods project focuses on the two largest British ethnic groups involved (Indian Sikhs and Pakistani Muslims), comparing transnational marriages with intra-ethnic marriages taking place within the UK. Findings from the project provide new understandings of the relationships between marriage-related migration and the complex processes of integration.

Speaker: Dr Katharine Charsley, Reader in Sociology, School of Sociological, Political and International Studies (SPAIS), University of Bristol