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Twice as many helpers: Unpacking the connection between marriage migration and older labour immigrants’ access to family support

Anika Liversage


In research on ethnic minority families, the topics of marriage migration and filial support to the elderly have generally been studied separately. This article argues that the two phenomena are linked, as older immigrants are better able to receive family support when children-in-law arrive as marriage migrants, leaving behind their own parents in their country of origin. On the basis of interviews with 39 first-generation immigrants from Turkey who are aging in Denmark, the study argues that the substantial family support which these older immigrants receive depends on the ability of their children and children-in-law to divide such support between them. In the host country context in which women generally work, however, the failing health of older immigrants may lead to considerable family strain. To honour filial obligations, some families make use of an option to seek to have daughters or daughters-in-law employed by the authorities to provide family support.


marriage migration; Turkish immigrants; filial obligations; domestic labour; intergenerational support

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