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Migration as a Challenge to Couple Relationships: The Point of View of Muslim Women

Department of Psychology, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, 20123 Milano, Italy
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Societies 2018, 8(4), 120; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc8040120
Received: 30 September 2018 / Revised: 5 November 2018 / Accepted: 24 November 2018 / Published: 29 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women in Islam)
Migration posits new challenges to couple relationships. The distance from one’s family and kin, the need to restructure long-standing and culturally established role expectations, the social isolation, and economic strains often put couple stability at stake. Muslim women’s perception of the changes that have occurred to their couple relationship after migration has rarely been investigated. To fill this gap in the research literature, a sample of 15 Moroccan and as many Pakistani women living in Italy were administered an in depth semi-structured interview. A thematic analysis of the interview transcripts led to the identification of the following main themes: (a) The value and meanings of marriage; (b) couple life in Italy: Partners’ roles; (c) adjustments required by the post-migration context; and (d) resources of the post-migration context. Results show that while migration is often a challenge to couples who are called to renegotiate their values, expectations, and reciprocal duties, it might also be an opportunity to experience a new intimacy far from the control of their family. Moreover, while migration often entails greater autonomy and a more balanced couple relationship for Moroccan women, Pakistanis remain anchored to more traditional gender values and are more exposed to feeling isolated. View Full-Text
Keywords: Immigrant couples; Muslim immigrant women; gender role expectations; impact of migration Immigrant couples; Muslim immigrant women; gender role expectations; impact of migration
MDPI and ACS Style

Accordini, M.; Giuliani, C.; Gennari, M. Migration as a Challenge to Couple Relationships: The Point of View of Muslim Women. Societies 2018, 8, 120.

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