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- PublicationAccès libreThe Reconfiguration of European Boundaries and Borders: Cross-border Marriages from the Perspective of Spouses in Sri LankaCross-border marriages between citizens with a migration background and spouses from non-EU countries have been politicised and restricted across Europe. This article simultaneously applies the analytical lenses of bordering and boundary work to this issue and de-centres the perspective by investigating the consequences of these restrictions not on Europe, but on a country of origin – Sri Lanka. We show that a particular symbolic boundary against cross-border marriages in European countries legitimises the externalisation of borders to the country of origin. This has important consequences for the female spouses before they even begin their journey to Europe: it challenges their life aspirations, enhances their economic dependency and precarity and directly impacts the marriage system in Sri Lanka. We argue that this situation creates a form of neo-colonial governmentality that perpetuates historically established forms of Western politics of belonging.
- PublicationAccès libreContesting categories: cross-border marriages from the perspectives of the state, spouses and researchersMarriages that involve the migration of at least one of the spouses challenge two intersecting facets of the politics of belonging: the making of the ‘good and legitimate citizens’ and the ‘acceptable family’. In Europe, cross-border marriages have been the target of increasing state controls, an issue of public concern and the object of scholarly research. The study of cross-border marriages and the ways these marriages are framed is inevitably affected by states’ concerns and priorities. There is a need for a reflexive assessment of how the categories employed by state institutions and agents have impacted the study of cross-border marriages. The introduction to this Special Issue analyses what is at stake in the regulation of cross-border marriages and how European states use particular categories (e.g. ‘sham’, ‘forced’ and ‘mixed’ marriages) to differentiate between acceptable and non-acceptable marriages. When researchers use these categories unreflexively, they risk reproducing nation-centred epistemologies and reinforcing state-informed hierarchies and forms of exclusion. We suggest ways to avoid these pitfalls: differentiating between categories of analysis and categories of practice, adopting methodologies that do not mirror nation-states’ logic and engaging with general social theory outside migration studies. The empirical contributions of the Special Issue offer new insights into a timely topic.
- PublicationAccès libreAlternative spatial hierarchies: a cross-border spouse’s positioning strategies in the face of Germany’s ‘pre-integration’ language testThis paper examines how spouses waiting in Turkey to be reunited with their partner in Europe experience border regimes and deal with the transnationalised discourses on ‘marriage migrants’ they encounter. It is based on the analysis of a single narrative interview, that of a woman taking German classes at Goethe Institute in Istanbul in order to pass the required language test. Like other respondents, she is confronted with negative gendered preconceptions regarding ‘Turkish import brides’. Her boundary work involves mobilising alternative hierarchies in an attempt to discursively construct a different Turkey than the one generally represented: she draws on social class (positioning herself as a member of the highly educated, mobile and economically better off), socio-spatial units (focusing on her urbanity) and gender (experiencing ‘modern’ and equal gender relationships). The paper emphasises the importance of the socio-spatial context, here the classroom, where boundary-making takes place. It also provides insights into the effects of global spatial hierarchies on migrants and their alternative narratives, a dimension that can only be understood through a decentred analysis. The article contributes to studies on cross-border marriages by analysing the ‘outgoing’ side, a perspective still rarely addressed in the literature.
- PublicationAccès libreThe car, the hammer and the cables under the tables: Intersecting masculinities and social class in a Swiss vocational schoolBased on ethnographic material, this article explores how three groups of apprentices negotiate masculinities in the specific setting of a male-dominated vocational school in Switzerland dedicated to the building trades. We use an intersectional and relational perspective to highlight how the institutional setting of the school – mirroring wider social hierarchies – influences these young men’s identity work. The apprentices use three discursive dichotomies: manual vs. mental work; proud heterosexuality vs. homosexuality; and adulthood vs. childhood. However, the three different groups employ the dichotomies differently depending on their position in the school’s internal hierarchies, based on their educational path, the trade they are learning and the corresponding prestige. The article illuminates the micro-processes through which existing hierarchies are internalised within an institution. It further discusses how the school’s internal differentiations and the staff’s discourses and behaviours contribute to the (re)production of specific classed masculinities, critically assessing the role of the Swiss educational system in the reproduction of social inequalities.
- PublicationAccès libreThe Car, the Hammer and the Cables under the Tables: Intersecting Masculinities and Social Class in a Swiss Vocational SchoolBasé sur des données ethnographiques, cet article explore la manière dont trois groupes d’apprentis gèrent la production de masculinités dans un contexte spécifique : celui d’une école professionnelle suisse spécialisée dans les métiers de la construction et fréquentée essentiellement par des hommes. Une perspective intersectionnelle et relationnelle est mobilisée pour montrer comment le contexte institutionnel de l’école – qui reflète des hiérarchies sociales plus larges – influence le travail identitaire de ces jeunes hommes. Les apprentis utilisent trois dichotomies discursives : le travail manuel vs intellectuel ; une hétérosexualité fièrement affichée vs l’homosexualité ; l’âge adulte vs l’enfance. Cependant, les trois groupes emploient ces dichotomies différemment selon leur position dans les hiérarchies internes de l’école, basées sur leur cursus de formation, le métier qu’ils apprennent, et le prestige associé. L’article met en lumière les micro-processus par lesquels les hiérarchies existantes sont internalisées dans l’institution. Il aborde également comment les différentiations internes à l’école et les discours et comportements du personnel contribuent à la (re)production de masculinités de classe spécifiques, posant un regard critique sur le rôle du système éducatif suisse dans le reproduction des inégalités sociales., Based on ethnographic material, this article explores how three groups of apprentices negotiate masculinities in the specific setting of a male-dominated vocational school in Switzerland dedicated to the building trades. We use an intersectional and relational perspective to highlight how the institutional setting of the school—mirroring wider social hierarchies—influences these young men’s identity work. The apprentices use three discursive dichotomies: manual vs. mental work; proud heterosexuality vs. homosexuality; and adulthood vs. childhood. However, the three different groups employ the dichotomies differently depending on their position in the school’s internal hierarchies, based on their educational path, the trade they are learning and the corresponding prestige. The article sheds light on the micro-processes through which existing hierarchies are internalised within an institution. It further discusses how the school’s internal differentiations and the staff’s discourses and behaviours contribute to the (re)production of specific classed masculinities, critically assessing the role of the Swiss educational system in the reproduction of social inequalities., Ausgehend von ethnografischen Daten untersucht der Artikel, wie drei Gruppen von Lernenden Männlichkeit im spezifischen Kontext einer Schweizer Berufsschule verhandeln, in der hauptsächlich junge Männer verschiedene Bauberufe erlenen. Unsere intersektionale und relationale Perspektive zeigt, wie das institutionelle Schulsetting – das weitere gesellschaftliche Hierarchien widerspiegelt - die Identitätsarbeit der jungen Männer beeinflusst. Die Lernenden mobilisieren drei diskursive Dichotomien: manuelle vs. geistige Arbeit, stolz gezeigte Heterosexualität vs. Homosexualität, Erwachsensein vs. Kind sein. Allerdings gebrauchen die drei Gruppen diese Dichotomien unterschiedlich je nach ihrer Position in der Schulhierarchie, ihrem Bildungsweg, ihrem erlernten Beruf und dem damit verbundenen Prestige basiert. Der Artikel beleuchtet die Mikroprozesse, durch die in einer Institution bestehende Hierarchien internalisiert werden. Diskutiert wird ausserdem, wie die schulinternen Differenzierungen und das Verhalten und die Diskurse des Personals an der Reproduktion klassenspezifischer Männlichkeiten beteiligt sind, wobei das Schweizer Bildungssystem bei der Reproduktion sozialer Ungleichheiten einer kritischen Betrachtung unterzogen wird.
- PublicationAccès libreDisentangling Religious, Ethnic and Gendered Contents in Boundary Work: How Young Adults Create the Figure of ‘The Oppressed Muslim Woman’The binary opposition between ‘equal European women’ and ‘oppressed Muslim women’ has become a powerful representation in Switzerland and throughout Europe. Yet little is empirically known about the mechanisms through which actors in their everyday lives (re)produce this prominent construction. In this mixed-method study with young adults in a French-speaking Swiss Canton, we explore how and on behalf of which markers they construct such a bright boundary against ‘the oppressed Muslim woman’. We argue that the Swiss tradition of ethicising and culturalising migrant issues is relevant for the construction of the boundary against Muslims in a way that renders ethnicity salient. However, when it comes to the concrete markers of the boundary – the ‘cultural stuff’ mobilised by the young people to mark the boundary – the local highly secular context has the paradoxical effect that religious contents become more salient than ethnicity. Normative ideas about ‘gender equality’, in contrast, cross both ethnic and religious markers in the same way. We argue that although ethnicity, religion and gender have commonalities in terms of categories of identification and exclusion, they should be treated as different elements when it comes to the social organisation of difference because each of them displays a specific logic.
- PublicationMétadonnées seulementIslam and Gender in the Boundary Work of Young Adults in Switzerland
- PublicationAccès libreIslam and gender in the boundary work of young adults in SwitzerlandIn many European countries, cultural and religious diversity is increasingly discussed as being a fundamental problem. This paper addresses this issue by applying the theoretical perspective of boundary work: On behalf of a mixed-method-study with young adults, we explore how public discursive constructions about ‘differences’ are used and interpreted in daily life in order to constitute groups and define the boundaries between them. The data shows that a majority (Swiss and second generation youth of Italian, Spain, French or Portuguese origin) constructs a bright boundary against ‘Muslims’ by mobilizing specific ideas about religious practices and by underpinning them with gender equality arguments. The Muslim minority youth are not able to tackle this boundary because of its bright nature; therefore, they develop individual strategies of repositioning within this stratified boundary system. We argue that in this transnationalized context established forms of domination emerge based on the intersection of religion and gender.
- PublicationMétadonnées seulementEthnizität und Religion. Welche Praktiken, Identitäten und Grenzziehungen? Eine Untersuchung mit jungen Erwachsenen
- PublicationAccès libre