Working Paper 209

The Aim Was Not to Meet a German and Marry: experiences of Mexican women in intermarriages in Berlin

Carlos Nazario Mora Duro

Department ‘Anthropology of Politics and Governance’

Year of publication

Number of pages

Working Paper 209

This paper aims to analyse recent Mexican migration to Germany and the forms of integration into their host society by addressing the experience of Mexican women married with Germans in the city of Berlin. Mixed marriage I understand as a journey in which the interplay between individual agency and structural opportunities and constraints substantially impacts personal experiences and the narratives thereof. I employ a biographical approach and follow this journey, which has its beginnings in a person’s childhood as socialisation, socio-economic conditions and social imaginaries in the country of origin provide the foundation for a person’s life course. It continues by way of meeting and engaging in a relationship with one’s future husband and the decision to get married and migrate (permanently) for family reasons – a process involving negotiations, choices, and contingencies. The journey proceeds in the host country where settling down is connected to the experience of integration and to perceptions concerning restraints and opportunities in one’s new life abroad. Questions guiding the analysis of these processes are: What (common) narratives can be identified during the life paths characterizing migration? How do personal agency and structural opportunities and constraints interplay? And how does this interplay influence the experience of migration and integration?

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