Cross Cultural Marriages in Toronto: An Ethnographic Study

Saturday, 21 July 2018: 12:50
Oral Presentation
This study focuses on immigrants living in Toronto migrated from Turkey and particularly married cross-culturally (mix-married). This paper is part of a postdoc research held in 2016-17. Turkish immigrants living in Canada work as skilled professionals (white-collar employees), qualified staff (blue collar employees) and workers. However; these three categories are not sufficient to represent all the immigrants, among whom there are refugees, investors as well as the women who are in Canada for the education of their children. Cross-cultural marriages are very common among Turkish immigrants. Especially, young immigrants tend to get married to the immigrants from other countries. But in some Alevi-Sunni and Kurdish-Turkish marriages, the families’ objection might be a problem in the marriage even after many years. In this study, immigrants define themselves regarding their ethnic and religious identity (for instance Turkish, Kurdish, Muslim, Christian, Sunni, Alevi, and Canadian). Cross-cultural marriages are categorized as following diverse groups: Turkish-Kurdish, Sunni-Alevi, Canadian-Immigrant, and Immigrant-Immigrant. 12 families are interviewed; representing three from each category. In-depth interviews, photo elicitation technique and family albums (photographs) are used in data gathering. Each family photograph displays the traces of public or/and private domains, daily life and possibly presents certain details such as family life, class structure, belonging, political attitude, intellectual attitude and future expectations. It is adopted self-reflexive approach in this research. The snowball sampling employed to determine the participants is also self-reflexive. The researcher reached the participants through the key informants with whom the researcher met by virtue of her own experience. Although participants were determined according to the research categories, it was only possible with the researcher’s cultural adaptation and her network of relations in this context. In this paper, family relationships and interaction, acculturation processes, religion and socialization as a family in community and cultural identity are analyzed within these families