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Repressive autonomy. Discourses on and surveillance of marriage migration from Turkey to Austria


  • Sabine Strasser

    () (Institute of Social Anthropology at the University of Bern, Switzerland)


Transnational marriages and family reunification have recently been assessed as two of the main obstacles to integration in Austria. They have been increasingly problema-tized and kept under surveillance when partners from third countries – in Austria, particularly from Turkey – have been involved. Nonetheless, a great number of Turk-ish migrants and their descendants prefer to marry partners from their “country of origin”. In this paper I discuss practices of and discourses on family formation across borders, based on ethnographic fieldwork in a small town in Austria. My findings show that transnational marriages in Austria are often conflated with forced and ficti-tious marriages and consequently rejected as fraudulent or “violence in the name of tradition”. Furthermore, legal provisions against problematic marriages do not liberate women but repress their autonomy.

Suggested Citation

  • Sabine Strasser, 2014. "Repressive autonomy. Discourses on and surveillance of marriage migration from Turkey to Austria," Migration Letters, Transnational Press London, UK, vol. 11(3), pages 316-328, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:mig:journl:v:11:y:2014:i:3:p:316-328

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