Academic journal article Journal of Comparative Family Studies

Does Social Embeddedness Influence Union Formation Choices among the Turkish and Moroccan Second Generation in the Netherlands?1

Academic journal article Journal of Comparative Family Studies

Does Social Embeddedness Influence Union Formation Choices among the Turkish and Moroccan Second Generation in the Netherlands?1

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

In the Netherlands-like in other European countries-the majority of Moroccan and Turkish children of labor migrants that entered the countiy in the 1960s and 1970s are now entering adulthood. This life phase is marked by a range of transitions in different life domains that influence their future life course (Corijn andKlijzing, 2001). So far, studies focused mainly on how second-generation migrants fared in the spheres of education and work (for an overview see: Heath, Rothon, and Kilpi, 2008). However, union formation decisions are key markers of entering adulthood and are strongly related to the choices in other domains of young adults' lives. Relatively little is known about different aspects of family related decisions among the second generation. Partner choice has received most attention (Çelikaksoy, Nielson, and Verner, 2003 ; Hooghiemstra, 200 1 ; Reniers, 200 1 ; Haug, 2005), but much less is known about the timing of union formation, timing of marriage and the type of union that is formed. Studying these choices of the second generation is particularly relevant as expectations about union formation within the ethnic community often differ substantially from those among the native population. Increasing our knowledge about union formation choices of the second generation and the factors that shape them becomes even more important as a growing proportion of young adults has a migrant background.

Union formation choices have been shown to be influenced by the family of origin both among the majority population (Axinn and Thornton, 1993, 1996; Starrelsand Holm, 2000; Thornton, 1991) as well as among young adults of migrant origin (De VaIk and Liefbroer, 2007; Haug, 2005). However, relatively little is known about the influence of non-family networks, composed of friends and acquaintances, on union formation decisions. This is unfortunate, because friends and peers are found to matter for contraceptive decisions, sexual behavior, school attainment, and delinquent behavior of young adults (Biddle, Bank, and Marlin, 1980; Billy and Udiy, 1985; Haynie and Osgood, 2005; King and Harris, 2007; Shah and Zelnik, 1981; Vaquera and Kao, 2008). Furthermore, interaction with acquaintances is found to influence information and value diffusion (Granovetter, 1973; Montgomery and Casterline, 1993). In this article, we study how union formation decisions of Turkish and Moroccan second-generation young adults in the Netherlands are influenced by friends and peers from outside their own ethnic community. The views and behavior of non-co-ethnic peers may differ from those predominant in the family of origin (Haug, 2005). To enhance our understanding of the influence of peers from outside the own ethnic community this paper sets out to answer the following research question: Does the level of social embeddedness into non-co-ethnic networks influence union formation decisions of second-generation Turks and Moroccans in the Netherlands?

So far, most studies have examined the role of peers in school achievement, language acquisition, and ethnic identity of second-generation migrants (Entorf and Lauk, 2008; Phinney, Romero, Nava, and Huang, 200 1 ) . This paper contributes to the literature first of all by studying how non-family networks influence union formation decisions of the second generation. Secondly, making a distinction between types of contact (strong and weak ties) adds a new perspective to the study of network influence on union formation whereby strong ties consist of close friends and weak ties of acquaintances (Granovetter, 1973). Thirdly, comparing the relative importance of non-co-ethnic networks among men and women of two ethnic groups that share broad cultural and social similarities (religion, family life, socio-economic status, migration history) reveals the importance of these networks for different origin groups. Finally, studying multiple aspects of union formation enables a better assessment of the importance of social embeddedness into non-co-ethnic networks for choices in the family domain. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.