Between Preferences: Marriage and Mobility among Danish Pakistani Youth

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International literature shows that second generation Pakistanis in United Kingdom to a large extent marry spouses from the extended family in Pakistan. A similar picture was also recently to be found in Denmark. However, strict Danish legislation on family reunification introduced in 2002 and an increasing number of local love marriages have changed the overall picture. This article discusses how the new marriage preferences affect common notions of family relatedness, and suggest that young couples' decision to engage in a love marriage constitutes an act of symbolic mobility. Ultimately Danish Pakistanis are split between the marriage preferences set up by their families, the Danish nation-state and themselves. In this respect marriage is not only about entering adulthood and deciding one's future, but also constitutes a process where notions of identity and belonging are negotiated within local and transnational families.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the Royal Anthropological Institute
Pages (from-to)572-590
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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