Contesting the Nexus between Intermarriage and Integration: Findings from a Multi-dimensional Study in Spain

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Abstract

This article examines the nexus between intermarriage and sociocultural dimensions of the integration of immigrants in Spain. The data presented draw on ninety-four in-depth interviews conducted with immigrants of seven different origins in exogamous (mixed) and endogamous (same-origin) unions in Catalonia, the region with the highest rate of immigration and ethno-racial diversity in Spain. We apply a mixed-methods approach, combining quantitative and qualitative analyses. We find that the relationship between intermarriage and integration is complex and multidirectional: intermarriage has a direct effect on some dimensions of integration (e.g., the expansion and diversification of personal/social networks) but has no relationship (e.g., for identification with the society of destination) or a bidirectional relationship (e.g., for the learning of official languages) for others. Furthermore, we find that the outcomes are context-dependent and may be moderated by factors such as country of origin or gender. In sum, our results suggest a much more nuanced picture of the nexus between intermarriage and integration than has traditionally been theorized.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)223-245
Number of pages23
JournalAnnals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Volume662
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2015

Keywords

  • assimilation
  • identity
  • immigration
  • integration
  • intermarriage
  • mixed methods
  • Spain

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