Marriage Migration and Integration: interrogating assumptions in academic and policy debates

Katharine Charsley, Marta Bolognani, Sarah Spencer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
512 Downloads (Pure)


In both policy and academic debates in Britain, as elsewhere in Europe, concern is increasingly expressed over the implications of spousal immigration for ‘integration’. Continued practices of ‘homeland’ transnational marriage within some ethnic minority communities in particular are presented as problematic, and new immigration restrictions likely to affect such groups in particular are justified on the grounds of promoting integration. The evidence base to underpin this concern is, however, surprisingly limited and analysis is based on differing and often partial conceptualizations of integration. Through an examination of the evidence in recent studies we interrogate the impact which spousal immigration can have within differing domains of integration. Exposing the complex processes at play we demonstrate the need for future research to deploy a nuanced, more comprehensive concept of integration if it is to avoid simplistic assertions that these forms of marriage migration have a single, direct impact on integration processes.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
Early online date14 Nov 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Nov 2016

Structured keywords

  • Migration Mobilities Bristol
  • Marriage
  • Integration
  • Migration
  • SPAIS Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship


  • marriage migration
  • transnational marriage
  • integration
  • immigration
  • migrants
  • family
  • marriage
  • regulation


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