Foto: Wutsje ©RUG

PhD defence Gusta Wachter

28 Apr 2022 12:45 University of Groningen

Thursday 28 April Gusta Wachter successfully defend her thesis entitled ‘Partnering patterns: Diversity in union formation and dissolution among the children of immigrants‘.

Many children of immigrants reached adulthood over the last years and found their first partner. So far, their union formation patterns have mainly been studied in comparison to majority populations or first-generation immigrants. In this thesis the focus is, however, on differences within the so-called second generation itself. Placed in a broader European context, different dimensions of diversity in union formation patterns are examined for the second generation in the Netherlands. First, the thesis shows that there are differences between origin groups with regard to partner choice, timing and the type of first unions entered. This is also true for origin groups who share similar cultural and migration backgrounds. Second, the findings emphasize the importance of taking the context in which the second generation grows up into account. Clear shifts in union formation, for example, take place across birth cohorts. Moreover, differences were found depending on the ethnic composition of the neighborhood in which the second generation grows up. Third, diversity in partner choice is shown, as well as how partner choice differs across union types. This indicates that it is no longer sufficient to only talk about interethnic marriages. Definitions and categorizations of what interethnic relationships mean need to be revised in societies in which young adults grow up with different cultures. In summary, the findings call for a more differentiated, longitudinal study of the second generation acknowledging diversity in type of unions and partner choice options as well as differences within the second generation with regard to when and where they grow up.

This PhD project is a collaboration of NIDI with the International Institute of Social History (IISH) and Statistics Netherlands (CBS) and is funded by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW).

For more information see the University of Groningen website.

Gender inequalities in health at older ages: A longitudinal and comparative investigation across European countries
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