Studies in the History of Overseas Migrations
Suzanne M. Sinke: Love in All the Wrong Places: Relating Migration Patterns and Marriage in U.S. Immigration, 1945-2000
Love in All the Wrong Places: Relating Migration Patterns and Marriage in U.S. Immigration, 1945-2000 Suzanne M. Sinke (Florida State University) When people move around, relationships develop in unexpected locations. At times those relationships transform into long-term commitments. At times they involve people of different national backgrounds. Proximity, physical as well as virtual, allows for interpersonal relations of a one-on-one international variety. Mobility provides opportunities. When we think of the relationship of marriage and migration in the late twentieth century United States we may think first of “foreign brides,” recruited from other countries in order to marry U.S. men. They get a great deal of (typi- cally negative) press.1 They tend to obscure the larger group of marriages tied to migration, which remain between those of the same background. Yet they also herald a shift, an increase in the proportion of marriages between those of dif- ferent nationalities over the course of recent decades. The broadening of the cartography of desire, to borrow another scholar’s phrase, links in part to im- provements in communications and technology, as well as a shift in key identity markers.2 Nationality and ethnicity remain salient in some cases, but increasing- ly other categories play larger roles in marital choices.3 When marriages mix nationalities it is most typically between those who met while engaged in migration for other reasons. The individuals explore commonalities, and nuptial choices can (though they will not necessarily) over- come the differences. This paper examines a few of the key categories of...
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