The Changing Family Patterns Among Immigrants: An evaluation of the causes of divorces/separation among Iranian families in Sweden

University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Institutionen för socialt arbete

Abstract: Studies have showed that family instability is more frequent among immigrants than among native Swedes; marriages do not last to the same extent among immigrants as it does among native Swedes. It is also shown that European immigrants divorce less than non-European immigrants. On this ground the current research is an accademic attempt to study and evaluate the causes of divorce/seperation among the Iranian families in Sweden from the perspectives of ordinary divorced men and women from Iran in Sweden. This research attempts to answer the following questions as: 1) how do women and men from Iran in Sweden make sense of their divorce; 2) is it a “problem” or an “opportunity”; and 3) how do they speak about power in their former relationships and in their lives and what can this say about causes and increase of divorce among immigrants in Sweden? Based of qualitative research method, semi-structured interviews were used for the purpose of collecting empirical data. The findings reveal that there are numerous factors that could explain the causes for high rate of divorces among Iranian immigrant group. Women from Iran find the life after divorce both ‘problematic’ and comparatively ‘comfortable', while men showed more interest in sustainability of the marriage. Access to the social resources such as education and gainful employment can be perceived as Iranian woman’s power resources, in Sweden, on the bases of which she challenges the traditional patriarchal stance of her husband. Iranian woman seems to want new symbols, new people and new name and therefore she is in fact divorcing from her ‘predecessors’.

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