Transnational Families among Turks and Pakistanis in Denmark: Good Subjects, Good Citizens and Good Lives

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Abstract

For the last decade, Denmark has witnessed a heated debate over ethnic minority marriage. The discussion highlights what are perceived as innate aspects of transnational marriages: they are seen as something hindering the social integration of immigrants into Danish mainstream, and even as a potential threat to national values. In the first part of this article I take Foucault’s descriptions of the modern state’s exercise of power as a starting point for my analysis of these current debates. One aspect that I analyze is whether state legislation on family unification can be seen communicating models for “the good subject and good citizen”, implementing tactics of “self-government”, and targeting specific fields of individual action in the process? In the second part of this article I move to another field where good subjects and good lives are moulded: transnationally based families. How do processes of making family, of marrying, exemplify the making of Self as a good subject in fields that certainly include and largely are dominated by the norms and regulations of the nation state but also transcend such geographical boundaries? How do young people, who have family in diverse geographic settings negotiate and manoeuvre between expectations of “good lives,” potentially crosscutting and challenging the relationships of power they are part? In what situations are such negotiations impossible, and why?
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftThe Finnish Journal of Ethnicity and Migration
Vol/bind3
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)13-19
StatusUdgivet - 2008
Udgivet eksterntJa

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