Migration and Marriage in Asia

Valerie Yeo Announcement
Subject Fields
Anthropology, Humanities, Social Sciences, Sociology, Women's & Gender History / Studies
 Conference on Migration and Marriage Date:     26-27 July 2016Venue:  Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore
             469A Tower Block, Level 10, Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 259770  Most migration is motivated by better economic opportunities in the receiving communities. However, migrants’ marriage behaviors, as one major life course event, are greatly reshaped by their migration experience as migration often occurs at a relatively early life stage and lasts for an extended periods of time. In this international conference, we aim to examine the relationship between migration and marriage in Asia. Asia has witnessed tremendous increase and change in migration experiences. The changing distribution of migrants’ skill qualifications have led to more heterogeneous motivations for migration and more dynamic assimilation processes. Compared to the previously dominant groups of low- or semi-skilled migrants, the increasing high-skilled migrants are more likely to have longer durations of migration and often have smoother and more active interactions with local residents in the receiving communities. They tend to seek new lifestyles beyond economic improvement, which include finding a spouse in the receiving communities and potentially settle permanently in the receiving community. Therefore, compared to their low- or semi-skilled counterparts, the high-skilled migrants may not only be more likely to thrive economically, but also be better assimilated into the receiving communities. Moreover, migration often occurs at a relatively early life stage and lasts for an extended periods of time. Therefore, family formation behaviors, as one of the major markers of transitioning into adulthood, deeply relate to one’s emotional satisfaction, taste preference, lifestyle options, as well as their socioeconomic prospects. Currently, relevant studies on the migration-marriage link had mostly been on western countries, while the migration-active Asia had not received sufficient attention.Migrants across Asian countries face different institutional, policy, and cultural contexts that shape their marriage behavior. For example, in Singapore, cross-national marriages and inter-ethnic marriages are of significant interest; in China, how the Hukou system influences internal migrants’ family formation behavior is uniquely important there; in India, how changes in the occupational distribution of the international migrants influence the marital choices are being intensely discussed; in Malaysia, diverse countries of origin of the migrants creates potential sources of tension and challenge for young adults in the marriage markets. In this conference, we are interested in examining how the experience of migration has influenced individuals’ family formation behaviors under diverse policy and cultural contexts across Asia. We also seek to further our understanding on the mechanisms and issues that have been underlying the migration-marriage link. These include changes in economic well-being, cultural adaptation, and identity issues vis-à-vis marriages, and policies pertinent to cross-cultural marriages. Theoretically informed empirical studies, especially those with cross-national and cross-temporal comparisons are welcome. Participants are invited to address the following themes in the conference:
  • Overall trends based on nationally representative data in migrants’ marriage rates, age at marriage, intermarriage (across region, family SES, ethnicity, and the rural/urban divide), and divorce rates;
  • Migrants’ attitudes toward marriage, family, and gender relations;
  • Relationship between migration and marriage timing, patterns of assortative mating, cross-cultural marriages, marital quality, marital dissolution, and potential mediating mechanisms;
  • How these relationships vary by migrants’ socioeconomic status, ethnicity, and gender;
  • Policy considerations: how policies pertinent to cross-cultural marriages implicate on marriage patterns and family dynamics after marriage - including policies on fertility, education, elderly and child care, welfare, and migration;
  • Conceptual and methodological challenges: data source, measurement and definitions.
 SUBMISSION OF PROPOSALS Paper proposals should include a title, an abstract (300 words maximum) and a brief personal biography of 150 words for submission by 15 January 2016. Please send all proposals in MS word document format to Ms Valerie Yeo at valerie.yeo@nus.edu.sg. Successful applicants will be notified by 15 February 2016 and will be required to send in a completed draft paper (5,000 to 8,000 words) by 4 July 2016. Based on the quality of proposals and availability of funds, partial or full funding will be granted to successful applicants. Participants are therefore encouraged to seek fund for travel from their home institutions. Full funding covers air travel to Singapore by the most economical means, plus board and lodging for the duration of the conference.  CONVENORS Dr Zheng MU
Asia Research Institute, and Centre for Family and Population Research
National University of Singapore
E | arimuz@nus.edu.sg Prof Wei-Jun Jean YEUNG
Asia Research Institute, Centre for Family and Population Research, and the Department of Sociology
National University of Singapore
E | ariywj@nus.edu.sg
Contact Information

Ms Valerie YEO
Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore
E | valerie.yeo@nus.edu.sg

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