Riste and Ristedari: the significance of marriage in the dynamics of transnational kinship networks

Ballard, Roger

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Based on the author's long standing ethnographic experience of developments with Punjabi ethnic colonies in the UK as well as their members' villages of origin in India and Pakistan, together with the additional insight which he has gathered in the course of preparing over 250 expert reports for use in civil, criminal and immigration proceedings in UK courts – the vast majority of which were in some way concerned with issues of kinship and marriage – this chapter seeks to trace the role which marital ties have played in facilitating the process of South Asian migration to Britain. Arguing that affinal ties are at least as significant of those of descent in the construction of transnational networks 'from below', the paper also explores the far reaching impact which variations in marriage rules have had on the evolution of such networks, as well as on the location and character of patterns personal distress which can also be experiences by those involved in transnational marriages. It concludes by suggesting that 'the devil is in the detail', and that when those involved in such marriages find themselves in severe distress, the difficulties they encounter are invariably much better understood as the outcome of the micro-politics of interpersonal relationships within the spouses immediate kinship networks than of the phenomenon of transnational marriage per se.

Document type: Article
Date: 2004
Version: Secondary publication
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2009 15:29
Faculties / Institutes: Organisations / Associations / Foundations > Centre for Applied South Asian Studies (CASAS)
DDC-classification: Social sciences
Controlled Keywords: Großbritannien, Familienbeziehung, Verwandtschaft, Heirat
Uncontrolled Keywords: Familienstruktur , Einwanderer , Südasiaten, Great Britain , South Asians , Family Relations , Kinship , Marriage
Subject (classification): Sociology
Countries/Regions: other countries
Series: Themen > CASAS Online Papers: Families, Kinship and the Dynamics of Transnational Networks
Volume: 4