DATING SECRETLY

in Ethnologia Europaea
Author:
Anne Häkkinen University of Jyväskylä anne.m.hakkinen@jyu.fi

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Drawing on twenty-one in-depth interviews, this article discusses the Internet’s role in the formation of transnational marriages among migrant Kurds who live in Finland. In contrast to what is presented in the European media, my findings suggest that transnational couple formation among migrants should be seen as highly diverse and more than just practices that maintain and preserve “traditional” marriage customs. Transnational online dating practices make visible how young adult Kurds actively engage in partner formation and spousal selection. Online dating enables individual autonomy by widening the circle of potential partners outside familial circles and offers a private social space in which people can create relationships on their own terms and evade social monitoring and possibly harmful rumors.

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