Date(s) - 13/05/15
3:30 pm - 5:30 pm
A proper wife, a proper marriage. Orientalist identity constructions in Dutch political debates on family migration
Saskia Bonjour (University of Amsterdam)
Globalisation, Transnationalism & Development Colloquium organised in association with Maastricht Centre for Citizenship, Migration and Development
Abstract: In this talk I argue that discourses and policies on family reunification participate in the politics of belonging, and that gender and family norms play a crucial role in this production of collective identities, i.e. in defining who ‘we’ are and what distinguishes ‘us’ from ‘the others’. Through an analysis of Dutch debates about family migration policy, I examine how gender and ethnicity intersect in the ‘othering’ of transnational marriages and the women who engage in them. These Orientalist practices of ‘othering’ legitimize restrictive reforms of marriage migration policies. Also, and no less importantly, they serve the symbolic function of defining Dutch identity, and show that the government protects this identity.
Speaker: Saskia Bonjour is assistant professor in Political Science at the University of Amsterdam. Her research and teaching focus on the politics of migration and integration in the Netherlands and in Europe. She is especially interested in family migration, civic integration, gender and migration, and Europeanisation. Saskia Bonjour defended her PhD about the history of family migration policymaking in the Netherlands at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences of Maastricht University in 2009. Since then, she has worked at the International Center for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) in Vienna, the Group for research on Ethnic Relations, Migration and Equality (GERME) at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, and the Leiden University Institute for History.