International literature shows that second generation Pakistanis in United Kingdom to a large extent marry spouses from the extended family in Pakistan. A similar picture was also recently to be found in Denmark. However, strict Danish legislation on family reunification introduced in 2002 and an increasing number of local love marriages have changed the overall picture. This article discusses how the new marriage preferences affect common notions of family relatedness, and suggest that young couples' decision to engage in a love marriage constitutes an act of symbolic mobility. Ultimately Danish Pakistanis are split between the marriage preferences set up by their families, the Danish nation-state and themselves. In this respect marriage is not only about entering adulthood and deciding one's future, but also constitutes a process where notions of identity and belonging are negotiated within local and transnational families.
Royal Anthropological Institute. Journal, 2012, p. 572-590