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Intimate Mobilities: Sexual Economies, Marriage and Migration in a Disparate World

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Volume 3

Worlds in Motion

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Intimate Mobilities

Sexual Economies, Marriage and Migration in a Disparate World

Edited by Christian Groes and Nadine T. Fernandez
Foreword by Katharine Charsley

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248 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-860-1 25% OFF! $120.00/£85.00 $90.00/£63.75 Hb Published (May 2018)

eISBN 978-1-78533-861-8 eBook

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“[This volume] marks a significant contribution to the literature on labor migration, cross-border marriages, and transnational intimacies. The book is a must-read for migration scholars and mobilities researchers concerned with racialization, gender and sexual politics, and the global circulation of bodies, desires, and relations.” • Transfers

“Written by an international cluster of leading scholars, this volume combines the work of academics who have engaged in sustained, multi-sited, transnational ethnography with that of newer scholars rethinking the field of marriage, migration state policy, and locality. The scholarship of this volume challenges and transforms the field of migration studies by teaching us how to theorize migration and state immigration policies through the lens of intimate relations.” • Amalia L. Cabezas, University of California, Riverside

“This is a solid, worthwhile scholarly contribution that moves our knowledge of migration and intimate relationships further along.” • Gilbert Herdt, San Francisco State University


As globalization and transnational encounters intensify, people’s mobility is increasingly conditioned by intimacy, ranging from love, desire, and sexual liaisons to broader family, kinship, and conjugal matters. This book explores the entanglement of mobility and intimacy in various configurations throughout the world. It argues that rather than being distinct and unrelated phenomena, intimacy-related mobilities constitute variations of cross-border movements shaped by and deeply entwined with issues of gender, kinship, race, and sexuality, as well as local and global powers and border restrictions in a disparate world.

Christian Groes is an Associate Professor at Roskilde University. His books include Affective Circuits: African Migration to Europe and the Pursuit of Social Regeneration (2016, co-ed. Jennifer Cole) and Studying Intimate Matters: Engaging Methodological Challenges in Studies on Gender, Sexuality and Reproductive Health in Sub-Saharan Africa (2011, co-ed. Barbara Ann Barrett). In 2012, he received the Young Elite Researcher prize from the Danish Council for Independent Research.

Nadine T. Fernandez is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Social Science Department at the State University of New York, Empire State College. She has written Revolutionizing Romance: Interracial Couples in Contemporary Cuba (2010), as well as several book chapters.  Her articles appear in the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Identities, Latin American Perspectives, and Temas. In 2015, she received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities.

Subject: General Mobility Studies General Anthropology


Katharine Charsley

Introduction: Intimate Mobilities and Mobile Intimacies
Christian Groes and Nadine T. Fernandez


Chapter 1. Transnational Matchmaking: Marriage Practices of Chinese Migrants from Qingtian Living in Europe
Martina Bofulin

Chapter 2. Temporary Intimacies, Incipient Transnationalism, and Failed Cross-Border Marriages
Nicole Constable

Chapter 3. Screening for Romance and Compatibility in Brussels’s Civil Registrar Office: Practical Norms Of Bureaucratic Feminism
Mäité Maskens


Chapter 4. Survival Within A Multi-Circuited Maze: Latin American Sex Workers In Spain
Laura Oso

Chapter 5. Mobility through the Sexual Economy: Exchanging Sexual Capital for Respectability in Mozambican Women’s Marriage Migration to Europe
Christian Groes

Chapter 6. Fluid Sexualities Beyond Sex Work and Marriage: Thai Migrants’ Racialized Gender Performance in Copenhagen
Marlene Spanger


Chapter 7. From Programas to Help and Marriage: Transnational Sexual, Economic and Affective Exchanges among Brazilian Women
Adriana Piscitelli

Chapter 8. True Love and Cunning Love: Negotiating Intimacy, Deception and Belonging in Touristic Cuba
Valerio Simoni

Chapter 9. The Masculine and Moral Self: Migration Narratives of Cuban Husbands in Scandinavia
Nadine T. Fernandez


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