Marriage, Migration and Transnational Social Spaces: A View from the UK
The chapters of this volume have documented an array of diff ering practices of marriage, migration and transnationalism. In this concluding chapter I wish to take a comparative approach to diversity in these processes at two interconnected levels: the national and the transnational. The discussion will employ the broad view of transnational marriage suggested in the introduction in an exploration of marriage-related migration to the UK, drawing on the available statistical evidence to sketch a preliminary portrait of a complex and dynamic ﬁ eld. At a national level, Britain emerges as receiving a much more diverse array of marriage-related migrants than is apparent from the focus of academic, governmental and popular representations. Three aspects of this diversity will be explored: nationalities of major groups of migrant spouses, the gendered nature of these ﬂ ows and the levels of rejection of spousal visa applications. Shifting to a more transnational perspective, these statistical sources are combined with other evidence to sketch the possible contours of transnational social spaces in which these marriages are implicated. Britain thus serves as a vantage point from which to view the variety of roles marriage may play in a range of transnational social spaces, characterized by diff erent kinds and levels of cross-border movement, ties between people, and barriers to mobility.