Jennifer Cole, University of Chicago presents:
Trafficking Husbands: Malagasy women’s marriage migration to France
Over the past several years, the phenomenon of mediated, bi-national and often bi-racial marriages have become an increasingly visible, and contested, phenomenon, not least in Europe, where marriage and family reunification remain one of the few available paths to legal immigration. Drawing on extensive research in Madagascar and in France, this paper examines the social practices that Malagasy women use to find French husbands and eventually leave the island. With a nod to both Levi-Strauss and Gayle Rubin’s earlier work on the “traffic in women,” the paper develops the alternative analytic of the “traffic in husbands,” one in which women’s eventual movement, like road traffic, is subject to jams as well as unexpected moments of flow and opportunity.