Bring family back? The impact of cross-border marriages on host societies

Chyong-fang Ko, Academia Sinica

This research aims to compare the impact of marriage migration on Taiwan and the Netherlands. Specifically, I would like to know how marriage migrants hybridize their original social values with those of the host society in their family lives. According to the statistics provided by the Ministry of the Interior (Taiwan), about one-fifth of new marriages have been cross-border marriages in the past few years, and more than 13% of the children being born come from these transnational couples. Most of the marriage migrants are females and most come from mainland China and Southeast Asian countries. Further research has shown that Taiwanese Hakka tend to wed Indonesian Hakka, while Taiwanese Chinese (especially veterans who migrated to Taiwan after World War II) tend to wed mainland Chinese. Dutch studies also demonstrate that more than 70% of the Moroccan migrants and about 80% of the Turkish migrants went back to their home societies to find spouses. Are those cross-border (but not cross-ethnic) marriages different from other types of transnational marriages? Are the original social values practiced in host societies, and therefore the traditional family functions (e.g. child bearing, child raising, geriatric caring, sex regulation) brought back to the host societies wherein those traditional family functions are otherwise fading away? Five to ten intensive interviews with each of the differently composed ethnic transnational couples will be analyzed.

  See paper

Presented in Session 4: Migrant Demographic Behaviour: Nuptiality