International Marriages in Sweden: A Case Study of Asian Women and Western Men

University essay from Lunds universitet/Centrum för öst- och sydöstasienstudier

Abstract: This thesis is a case study of international marriages in Sweden. It concentrates on Asian women and Western men. The purpose of the research was not to generalize but to present individual cases and to detect what ideas, life experiences and circumstances influence the choices of life partners in international marriages. It also examines gender relations, influence of stereotypes, attitude of the society, choices of residence, marital disagreements, present, past and future of the couples and other issues. It includes 24 interviewees. The main theories of the work are social collective memory and social exchange. Based on findings, it was concluded that choice to marry internationally is influenced by numerous factors, for instance by interest in other culture, local marriage market disadvantage, look for certain values and features that are frequent among foreigners, as well as important role play globalization, technical development and countries liberalization. This research refuted a range of stereotypes connected to international marriages, showed that wider societies in Asia and Sweden negatively perceive and stigmatize them, that a majority of couples are quite gender equal and that the increase of international marriages are tightly connected to concepts of globalization and migration.

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