Overheating seminar: Apostolos Andriakopoulos

Mobility, family life and the European citizenship: marriages between legally precarious African migrants and peripheral Europeans in the Netherlands

Apostolos Andriakopoulos is currentlig a PhD Research fellow at the Univeristy of Amsterdam. His reserach focuses on West African immigrants in Amsterdam, emphasising informal Networks.

About the seminar:

"This ethnographic research examines a recent shift in the marital preferences of legally precarious Nigerian and Ghanaian migrants in the Netherlands from Dutch citizen spouses of various ethnic origins (native Dutch, Dutch Afro-Caribbeans, African-origin Dutch) to EU citizen spouses especially from Southern and Eastern Europe. In my presentation, I will firstly explain how the EU citizenship became more important for its holders and their family members than national citizenship when it comes to the protection of their right in family life and thus the legal residence of all its members and direct our attention to the role of law in the formation of marital preferences and the regulation of conjugal life.

The other issue that my presentation will address is why legally precarious African migrants particularly opt for Eastern and Southern Europeans and not for other EU citizens in the Netherlands. Studies of cross-border marriages have pointed out the power discrepancies between spouses and the fact that the legal residence of the immigrant spouse depends on her/his relation with the citizen spouse. West African migrants in the Netherlands navigate this highly asymmetrical dynamic in mixed-status marriages by choosing peripheral Europeans as partners who are EU citizens but as working class migrants are in a similar structural position in Dutch society.

Last, moving beyond the categorization as ‘sham’ or ‘genuine’, my presentation will analyze the interrelation of interest, affection and sex in these cross-marriages."

Published Mar. 19, 2014 9:02 AM