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Family Relations: Extended Family Living, Gender and ‘Traditionalism’

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Part of the Palgrave Macmillan Studies in Family and Intimate Life book series (PSFL)

Abstract

Culturalist understandings connect transnational marriage with ‘traditional’ gender and family relationships, contrasted with models of ‘modern’ egalitarian European gender relations which are taken as a sign of cultural integration. Previous chapters of this volume have considered gender issues in relation to education, employment and social life. In this chapter, we explore another prominent topic in this area: extended family living. The Labour Force Survey data reveals that rates living in extended families are patterned by couple type, with particularly high rates among migrant wife couples. For both transnational and intranational couples, women sometimes find living with their in-laws constraining. For some British Pakistani women, a transnational marriage offers the opportunity to avoid the role of daughter-in-law, and so may offer increased autonomy and/or the opportunity to remain living with or near their natal family. Migrant husbands, conversely, are often in the culturally unusual position of being dependent on their wife and her family for accommodation. The qualitative data also, however, points to ways in which extended family living can function to enhance processes of integration, providing practical, emotional and financial support enabling couples to invest in their careers or business, or to save for their own property.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Sociology, Politics and International StudiesUniversity of BristolBristolUK
  2. 2.BristolUK
  3. 3.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Centre on Migration, Policy and SocietyUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK

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