Institute of European Ethnology
This upcoming PhD research analyses social, legal, mediatic and political interdependencies in the field of marriage migration from Russia to Germany. Two factors are particular to this type of migration. First of all, as family and marriage are anchored in the constitution of Germany, the visa for family reunification offers a unique legal situation for spouses of German citizens. This causes a certain migration management and a specific set of governmental practices.
Second, not only does the negotiation of an imagined integration potential play into account, but also conceptions of love and marriage, femininity, Russianness and otherness.
The family reunification of German-Russian couples is regarded with suspicion due to issues of integration into political and economic relations, ethnicizing stereotypes and diverse, interdependent axes of power and a state control regime. However marriage migration is a form of legal immigration.
In addition, I hypothesize that the ideas of gender and countries of origin enable as well as complicate migration routes. The “Invention of Eastern Europe”, as it is named by Larry Wolff, becomes especially visible within these migration process and practices. The imagination of Russia as female, semi-wild and semi-civilized, frames the power-knowledge complex of marriage migration in a specific way.
In a poststructural manner, this research tries to find, describe, analyze and deconstruct different narratives and argumentation structures within the field of marriage migration from Russia to Germany. It further asks how the migration stories of German-Russian couples are interpreted differently through various perspectives – from the Goethe Institute and the German authorities via popular items through to the own narration of the couples – and how these in turn influence the actual migration process. This qualitative research is therefore based on ethnographic field work, in-depth interviews and discourse analysis.
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Irene Götz