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‘They All Encouraged Me To Do It, But After All, The Decision is Mine’: Marriage Practices among Diaspora Somalis in Finland

Author:

Abdirashid A. Ismail

Department of Social Research, University of Helsinki, FI
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Abstract

This article has two main goals. First, it describes the processes and practices of Somali marriages in Finland, in order to help fill the gap in the literature on Somali marriage practices. Particular attention is paid to three major aspects of the marriage process: finding a spouse, organising the marriage arrangements and the celebrations. The second goal is to contribute to the current debate on migration and arranged marriages. In doing so, particular attention is paid to the role of the family in these three aspects of marriage. This article draws from 35 individual interviews, participant observations in five marriage ceremonies, as well as five focus group discussions. I argue that, despite the deep involvement of family members in the marriage process, unlike in forced and (common) arranged marriages, Somali couples take a leading role and make major decisions, although they are expected to seek their parents’ consent.
How to Cite: Ismail, A.A., 2018. ‘They All Encouraged Me To Do It, But After All, The Decision is Mine’: Marriage Practices among Diaspora Somalis in Finland. Nordic Journal of Migration Research, 8(2), pp.124–131. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1515/njmr-2018-0012
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Published on 01 Jun 2018.
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