Mixed-status informal couples in a cascading crisis. Immobilisation, mobilisation, and normalisation? - Université de Paris - Faculté Sociétés et Humanités Access content directly
Journal Articles Migration Studies Year : 2023

Mixed-status informal couples in a cascading crisis. Immobilisation, mobilisation, and normalisation?

Abstract

In France, the COVID-19 pandemic was experienced as a cascading crisis, with its effects rippling out beyond its initial health domain. Due to the lockdown and ban on travel, the closure of borders, and the slowdown of administrative services, the pandemic had an unanticipated effect on transnational French/foreign couples lacking formal legal relationship status, causing separation and uncertainty. Overlapping health and migration concerns generated a new specific border regime, which reinforced the already existing ‘deservingness’ criteria for seeking to move to and integrate into the nation. The imposed geographical and administrative immobilisation led to some couples creating online self-help communities, which offered emotional support and shared coping strategies for couples caught in the deadlock. These communities have given the challenges faced by mixed-status couples fresh visibility. Drawing on an ethnography conducted in four online communities, in-depth interviews with transnational couples, and an analysis of politico-juridical materials and grey literature, this article focuses on marriage becoming the option for French/foreign couples seeking the right to reunite in France during an uncertain period. More precisely, by using crisis studies to frame the impact of the pandemic and articulating the scholarship on socio-legal and intimate citizenship, the experiences of such couples can be understood as specific processes in legal consciousness, producing acts of intimate citizenship. This perspective helps demonstrate how the pandemic emphasised the policing of migrant couples, and how institutional and legal opportunities narrowed the choices available to such couples, reducing the potential of change that is generally inherent in crises.
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Dates and versions

hal-04108841 , version 1 (30-05-2023)

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Laura Odasso. Mixed-status informal couples in a cascading crisis. Immobilisation, mobilisation, and normalisation?. Migration Studies , 2023, ⟨10.1093/migration/mnad011⟩. ⟨hal-04108841⟩
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