In: Aybek, Can M., Johannes Huinink, and Raya Muttarak (eds). 2015. Spatial Mobility, Migration, and Living Arrangements. Cham: Springer.
(together with Gaby Straßburger & İlknur Yüksel-Kaptanoğlu)
This paper presents selected results from a research project on the dynamics of marriage migration from Turkey to Germany. In terms of its design, the project represents a multi-sited research endeavour with a dyadic sample consisting of couples for whom, at the beginning of the data collection, one partner was living in Turkey and the other in Germany. The main data consist of series of interviews with transnational couples over a time period of eight months covering the pre- and post-migration phases. The aim was to develop a thorough understanding of the conditions of the joining partner before migration, the methods by which the couple facilitates its relationship within a transnational social space, and the receiving context in which the resident partner lives. From this broader perspective, here we focus on two questions: How are events and rituals concerning marriages altered in the context of transnational marriages? And what are the perceived risks and the coping strategies adopted by transnational couples? Our results indicate that the temporal order of events differs from local marriage processes, in that organizing a transnational marriage tends to be characterized by long periods of waiting during which minor steps are taken and short periods of accelerated activities in which rituals are performed in a condensed manner. A transnational relationship, furthermore, is perceived to carry specific risks. Those perceived risks vary not only by gender and education, but also differ for the migrating and resident spouses.