Article

Staying in Turkey or Marrying to Europe? Understanding Transnational Marriages from the Country-of-Origin Perspective

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Abstract

The topic of transnational partner choice has gained attention over the past decades, but most research focuses on the migrants and their descendants in Europe. Very little is known about the mechanisms underlying marriage migration decisions in the sending contexts. With reference to migration and partner choice theories, we develop hypotheses on (1) education-related selectivity, (2) family and community network effects, and (3) the role of consanguineous and arranged marriages for family formation migrations from Turkey. Drawing on data of the 2000 Families Study, we apply multivariate regression models which consider (married) stayers and marriage migrants from the same regions of origin. Findings indicate the expected inverted u-curved effect of education and strong positive influences of prior migrants in the family network. Previous marriage migrants exert a stronger influence than other migrants in the family. Gender differences are low, but while family networks hardly diminish the selective impact of education for women, we find a negative interaction effect for men. Unlike the family, community network effects are low and inconclusive. Moreover, marriage migration is strongly associated with consanguineous marriage, and less with marriage arrangement. The implications of these findings are discussed in the light of existing theoretical and empirical research.

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... While the high rates of marriage migration may be attributed to the lack of alternative legal immigration options, this immigration path has also been subject to further legal restrictions in recent years (Aybek et al., 2014). Research has shown that the likelihood of engaging in marriage migration is associated with the sociodemographic, cultural, and family characteristics of both partners in Europe and in Turkey (Abdul-Rida & Baykara-Krumme, 2016;Baykara-Krumme & Fuß, 2009;González-Ferrer, 2007;Milewski & Hamel, 2010). Marriage migration is a highly relevant issue in the study of migrant fertility, as migration for the purposes of family formation leads to elevated migrant fertility, at least among women (e.g., Kulu et al., 2019;Milewski, 2007). ...
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This article reports a decline in transnational marriages among Turkish Belgians between 2001 and 2008 and explains the changing trends through a qualitative study of Turkish Belgians’ current partner preferences and union formation practices. Young people prefer a local marriage because it enables upward social mobility, and the possibility of premarital relationships and lower parental involvement seem to further add to the declining popularity of transnational marriages. Despite these changes, however, a considerable percentage of people continues to marry a partner from the country of origin. By identifying four ‘types’ of transnational marriages we highlight the changes and diversification with regards to transnational marriages.
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The migration literature has identified various feedback mechanisms which explain why, once started, migration processes tend to become partly self-perpetuating, leading to the formation of migrant networks and migration systems. However, existing theories on the internal dynamics of migration processes are characterised by three fundamental weaknesses. First, their focus on migrant networks coincides with a neglect of indirect feedback dynamics that operate through the impact of migration on the sending and receiving contexts, changing the initial conditions under which migration takes place. Second, existing theories are unable to explain why most initial migration moves do not lead to network migration and migration system formation. Third, their largely circular logic reveals an inability to conceptualise which migration-undermining feedback mechanisms may counteract migration-facilitating feedback dynamics and which may explain the endogenous decline of established migration systems. By drawing on various disciplinary strands of migration theory and by applying insights from the critical social capital literature, this paper proposes a conceptual framework on the internal dynamics of migration processes by elaborating a set of hypotheses on the various migration-facilitating and migration-undermining feedback mechanisms at play in the various trajectories and stages of migration system formation and decline.
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Preface 1: Macrostructural Concepts 2: Formal Theory of Population Structure 3: Testing Theoretical Implications 4: Occupational Chances 5: Structural Context and Organizations 6: Social Exchange 7: Historical Developments Bibliography Author Index Subject Index
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This article examines the role of migrant social networks in international migration and extends prior research by testing the strength of tie theory, decomposing networks by sources and resources, and disentangling network effects from complementary explanations. Nearly all previous empirical research has ignored friendship ties and has largely neglected extended-family ties. Using longitudinal data from the Migration between Africa and Europe project collected in Africa (Senegal) and Europe (France, Italy, and Spain), this article tests the robustness of network theory-and in particular, the role of weak ties-on first-time migration between Senegal and Europe. Discrete-time hazard model results confirm that weak ties are important and that network influences appear to be gendered, but they do not uphold the contention in previous literature that strong ties are more important than weak ties for male and female migration. Indeed, weak ties play an especially important role in male migration. In terms of network resources, having more resources as a result of strong ties appears to dampen overall migration, while having more resources as a result of weaker ties appears to stimulate male migration. Finally, the diversity of resources has varied effects for male and female migration.
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Drawing on the rational choice approach and the economic sociology of migration, this article discusses the role of social networks in terms of location-specific social capital. It discusses relations between sociological and economic aspects of migration and outlines the influence of social capital on migration decision-making and chain migration processes. There have been various attempts to measure these effects through empirical migration research, and this article focuses on two such studies. The first example concerns an investigation of migration intentions among Bulgarians in the 2001 Bulgarian census. The second is return migration in the household context of Italian migrants in Germany, based on data from the German Socio-Economic Panel. The main finding is that social capital at the place of destination has positive impacts on emigration intentions and return migration, whereas social capital at the place of residence has negative impacts on return migration.
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This paper examines the transition to a first union of descendants of Turkish immigrants in France. We use data from the project The Integration of the European Second Generation, 2007, and apply event-history techniques. We find that descendants of Turkish immigrants who grew up in France enter a first union earlier and more often in a direct marriage than do young adults without an immigrant background. We then describe the type of union in more detail and estimate the likelihood of a transnational partner choice, that is, between a young adult born in France of Turkish immigrant parentage and an immigrant from Turkey. We pay attention to social factors such as education, city of residence, and to cultural factors such as the rules of affinity in Turkey and the attachment to the norm of virginity at marriage as factors that orient partner choice. Finally, we discuss what anthropological methods could contribute to this research.
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In this paper, we will investigate the popularity of marriage migration between Turkish communities in Western Europe and emigration regions in Turkey. Our focus here is specifically on the Belgian case, namely the ‘Emirdag connection’. In Belgium, the majority of immigrants with a Turkish background come from the region of Emirdag, in the province of Afyon. On the basis of quantitative research methodologies, we first consider the magnitude of the phenomenon and the socio-economic situation of those involved. Using the qualitative research techniques of participant observation and in-depth interviews, we analyze the mechanisms in an attempt to explain marriage migration between these regions. Why do so many young people, born and raised in Western Europe, opt for an unknown partner from a region that is largely unknown to them but which proves to be their parents', or even grandparents', region of origin? Why does migration remain such a valuable life project for many young people in these regions of origin, despite the real danger of many negative side effects? The popularity of marriage migration is often explained by its role in making migration possible. However, migration theories alone cannot explain this phenomenon. Here we will argue that the existence of a ‘culture of migration’ that binds the region of origin with the region of destination and in which ‘the family’ as an institution is capable of building a bridge between traditional praxis, as well as the challenges linked to international migration, are crucial for understanding the enduring popularity of marriage migration.
Article
While a large literature has established that migration experience among an individual's family and community networks tends to encourage migration, there is little research investigating the mechanism by which networks exert such effects. This paper aims to determine the relative importance of three potential benefits provided by networks: information on border crossing, information on jobs, and credit. We develop empirical tests of these effects based on a simple model that allows individuals to choose between migrating alone or with the help of a border smuggler. Using a dataset of undocumented Mexican migrants to the United States, we find that larger family networks encourage both migration and coyote use, consistent with the job information hypothesis. In contrast, community networks appear to provide crossing information. The finding that family networks have a smaller impact for asset holders indicates that some of the benefit the family network provides is a source of credit. Copyright © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Article
International migration is costly and initially only the middle class of the wealth distribution may have both the means and incentives to migrate, which can increase inequality in the sending community. However, the migration networks formed lower the costs for future migrants, which can in turn lower inequality. This paper shows both theoretically and empirically that wealth has a nonlinear effect on migration, and then examines the empirical evidence for an inverse U-shaped relationship between emigration and inequality in rural sending communities in Mexico. After instrumenting, we find that the overall impact of migration is to reduce inequality across communities with relatively high levels of past migration. We also find some suggestive evidence for an inverse U-shaped relationship among communities with a wider range of migration experiences.
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This paper uses data from the Mexican Family Life Survey (MxFLS) to examine the patterns of selection of male, Mexican migrants to the United States. We confirm previous findings that Mexican migrants are selected from the middle of the education distribution, but show that there is no evidence for selection of migrants on cognitive ability. We demonstrate that migrants are also selected from the middle of the observed skill distribution, as measured by predicted wages. However, controlling for proxies of the costs of migration, we find substantially less evidence of "intermediate selection" on observed skill. We find little evidence for selection on unobserved skill, with or without controls for the costs of migration. Finally, we show directly that the decision to migrate is highly correlated with differential returns to observable skill and the costs of migration. Overall, these findings are consistent with the predictions of the canonical model of migration.
Article
In this paper we examine the circumstances and determinants of female migration between Mexico and the United States. Using data from the Mexican Migration Project, we considered the relative timing of males' and females' moves northward. We then estimated logit and probit models to study the determinants of male and female out-migration; among women we also estimated a multinomial logit model to uncover differences in the process of migration for work versus not for work. We found that women almost always followed other family members, either the husband or a parent; only a tiny minority initiated migration independently. Although males also are quite likely to be introduced to migration by a parent, nearly half of all male migrants left for the United States before or without a wife or a parent. Estimates of the determinants of migration suggested that males move for employment, whereas wives generally are motivated by family reasons. Daughters, however, display a greater propensity to move for work, and the determinants of their work-related moves closely resemble those of sons and fathers.
Article
Family, friendship, and community networks underlie much of the recent migration to industrial nations. Current interest in these networks accompany the development of a migration system perspective and the growing awareness of the macro and micro determinants of migration. This article presents an overview of research findings on the determinants and consequences of personal networks. In addition, it calls for greater specification of the role of networks in migration research and for the inclusion of women in future research.
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PIP This article challenges the oversimplified image of an uneducated and undifferentiated immigrant labor force for Turks and Moroccans through the concept of selectivity. Using a combination of data from two Migration History and Social Mobility surveys carried out among Turkish and Moroccan men living in Belgium, selectivity is discussed with respect to region of origin and in terms of educational attainment. Analysis of selectivity with respect to region indicate that Turkish and Moroccan migrants in Belgium were not all the representative of their countries of origin. It was also noted that network-mediated migration accentuated the unequal distribution of immigrants in terms of their region of origin. Selection with respect to educational attainment analysis confirmed the heterogeneous composition of Moroccan immigrants. Those from the rural Rif and Souss were generally not as well educated as non-migrants. In addition, immigrants from urbanized parts of the country were generally more educated. In the selection process, an explanation for migration emerged, which states that network connections may be a factor for increasing one's possibility of migrating.
Article
"Although many characteristics play a role in the choice of a spouse, sociologists have most often examined endogamy and homogamy with respect to race/ethnicity, religion, and socioeconomic status.... I summarize empirical research by answering four questions: (a) To what extent are groups endogamous and how do groups differ in this respect? (b) How has endogamy changed over time? (c) Which factors are related to endogamy? (d) How do various dimensions of partner choice coincide? [I then] discuss strengths and weaknesses of past research."
Article
This article explores the role of migrant networks in Mexican rural out-migration focusing on how network composition influences rural-to-rural, rural-to-urban, and rural-to-international migration. Using data from rural Mexico, migration is considered in a multiple-choice context allowing for the possibility that rural Mexicans can migrate within Mexico for agricultural and non-agricultural employment as well as to the United States. Our principle result is that the parts are greater than the whole; using disaggregated measures of migrant networks highlights the complexity of network effects on migration decisions. When modelling the migration choice with aggregate measures, US migrant networks appear more important than Mexico migrant networks. Once networks are disaggregated, however, certain types of Mexico migrant networks become very important in the decision to migrate within Mexico. Further, the impact of migrant networks in the decision to migrate is not homogeneous; the closer the bond, the greater the impact on the migration decision.
Die Integration von zugewanderten Ehegattinnen und Ehegatten in Deutschland
  • T Büttner
  • A Stichs
Bü ttner, T. and Stichs, A. (2014). Die Integration von zugewanderten Ehegattinnen und Ehegatten in Deutschland. BAMF-Heiratsmigrationsstudie. Nü rnberg: BAMF.
Transnational marriage
  • K Charsley
Charsley, K. (2012). Transnational marriage. In Charsley, K. (Ed.) Transnational Marriage. New Perspectives from Europe and Beyond. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 3-22.
Time matters. Temporal aspects of transnational intimate relationships and marriage migration processes from Turkey to Germany
  • C M Aybek
Aybek, C. M. (2015). Time matters. Temporal aspects of transnational intimate relationships and marriage migration processes from Turkey to Germany. Journal of Family Issues, 36, 1529-1549.
D. candidate at Technische Universit€ at Chemnitz since 2010, main fields of research: migration sociology, family sociology, health, discrimination, identity, partner choice, arranged marriage . Last relevant publications
  • Chadi Abdul-Rida Ph
Chadi Abdul-Rida Ph.D. candidate at Technische Universit€ at Chemnitz since 2010, main fields of research: migration sociology, family sociology, health, discrimination, identity, partner choice, arranged marriage. Last relevant publications: Abdul-Rida, C. (2016).