1st Edition

International Marriages and Marital Citizenship Southeast Asian Women on the Move

Edited By Asuncion Fresnoza-Flot, Gwénola Ricordeau Copyright 2017
    224 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    224 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    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.

    List of Figures

    List of Tables

    List of contributors



    Introduction: international marriages of Southeast Asian women

    through the lens of citizenship (Asuncion Fresnoza-Flot and Gwenola Ricordeau)

    Part I. Contact Paths and Routes to Family Formation

    Chapter 1. Marriage Migration as a Pathway to Citizenship: Filipina Brides,

    Economic Security, and Ideas of Global Hypergamy (Julia Meszaros)

    Chapter 2. Time-Embedded Marital Citizenship: Thai Migrant Women

    and their Mixed Unions in Belgium (Asuncion Fresnoza-Flot)

    Part II. The Politics of Love and Desire

    Chapter 3. Reconciling Marital Citizenship in Malaysia through Activism: Gender, Motherhood and Belongingness (Low Choo Chin)

    Chapter 4. The ‘Mail-Order Bride’ Stigma: Intermarried Filipino Women and the Philippine Public and Political Debate (Gwenola Ricordeau)

    Chapter 5. Female Migrant Spouses as Deserving Subjects of Rights: Migrant Women and Taiwan’s Gender-Equal Courtrooms (Hsiu-Yu (Tori) Fan)

     Part III. Settlement and Multifaceted Roles in a New Land

    Chapter 6. Postcolonial Desires, Partial Citizenship, and Transnational ‘Un-Mothers’: Contexts and Lives of Filipina Marriage Migrants in Japan (Nobue Suzuki)

    Chapter 7. Stigmatized Love and Boundary-Making: Filipina Women Constructing Relationships with US Military Men Within and Beyond the Legal Framework (Victoria Reyes)

    Chapter 8. She Cares Because She is a Mother: The Intersection of Citizenship and Motherhood of Southeast Asian Immigrant Women in Taiwan (Isabelle Cheng)

    Chapter 9. A Two-Step Social Integration Model for Transnational Marriage Migrants in Taiwan and South Korea: ‘Marital Family First, Host Society Second’ (Hsin-Chieh Chang)

    Conclusion: making sense of international marriages (Asuncion Fresnoza-Flot and Gwenola Ricordeau)



    Asuncion Fresnoza-Flot is a Radboud Excellence Initiative fellow at the Centre for Migration Law / Institute for the Sociology of Law of Radboud University, the Netherlands.

    Gwénola Ricordeau is Associate Professor of sociology at the Lille Center for Sociological and Economic Research (CLERSE) of the University Lille 1, France.