Accepted Paper:

Dating in secret: ICT's role in shaping transnational marriage practices among Kurds in Finland  

Author:

Anne Häkkinen (University of Jyväskylä)

Paper short abstract:

In my presentation I will discuss the Internet´s role on shaping dating and marriage practices among Kurds who live in Finland especially in situations when the dating takes place in secret and across nation-state borders.

Paper long abstract:

Consanguineous and arranged marriages in their different forms are common among Kurds who live in Finland. In these marriage patterns the idea of love and its connection to marriage is highly complex. The ICTs are one of the forces that are influencing traditional marriage patterns and making their relation to love even more diverse and complex.

My PhD handles transnational marriages among Kurds in Finland. The research material mainly consists of in-depth interviews. In transnational marriage I am referring to the phenomenon when migrants marry partners from their family´s country of origin or from the same cultural/ethnic background in the diaspora. This transnational activity usually contains different modes of dating when the relationship is initiated and created. In these dating practices the ICTs have a huge role not only keeping a contact across states but also creating new ways of searching a spouse.

In my presentation I will discuss the Internet´s role on shaping dating and marriage practices especially in situations when the dating takes place in secret and across nation-state borders. According to my results, the Internet gives a special private place in which interviewees can create relationships on their own terms and express their mutual affection without fear of possibly harmful rumours. Searching a spouse via the Internet supports (or is prerequisite to) more individualistic attitudes toward marriage and its relation to (romantic) love as relatives´ role in the process of finding a spouse is less important than for example in cases of arranged marriages.

Panel P02
Love exchange and sentimental circulations: rethinking romantic love (EN-FR)