While marriage has lost its popularity in many developed countries and is no longer an obligatory path to family formation, it has gained momentum among binational couples as states reinforce their control over human migration. Focusing on the case of Southeast Asian women who have been epitomized on the global marriage market as ‘ideal’ brides and wives, this volume examines these women’s experiences of international marriage, migration, and states' governmentality.
Drawing from ethnographic research and policy analyses, this book sheds light on the way many countries in Southeast Asia and beyond have redefined marriage and national belonging through their regime of ‘marital citizenship’ (that is, a legal status granted by a state to a migrant by virtue of his/her marriage to one of its citizens). These regimes influence the familial and social incorporation of Southeast Asian migrant women, notably their access to socio-political and civic rights in their receiving countries. The case studies analysed in this volume highlight these women’s subjectivity and agency as they embrace, resist, and navigate the intricate legal and socio-cultural frameworks of citizenship.
As such, it will appeal to sociologists, geographers, socio-legal scholars, and anthropologists with interests in migration, family formation, intimate relations, and gender.