Crossing Social Boundaries in an Immigration Context: Exogamy and Gendered Employment Patterns in Unions in Germany
We study gendered employment patterns in unions by focusing on the role of exogamy for non-migrants in Germany. Classical assimilation theory has studied such mixed migrant-non-migrant unions mainly with a focus on the members of ethnic minorities. However, this perspective neglects the question of the social consequences of exogamy for the members of the majority group. We aim to fill this knowledge gap by investigating the association of being in a mixed union and the employment patterns of the couple. Our theoretical considerations and working hypotheses are derived from modernization theories, welfare state and labor market theories, gender studies, and social boundary-crossing frameworks. Drawing on the scientific use file of the German Microcensus of 2013, our sample consists of 44,499 non-migrant men (about 7% of whom are in a mixed union with a migrant) and 43,722 non-migrant women (about 5% of whom are in a mixed union). We estimate multinomial logistic regression models. We conclude that the persistent disadvantage for immigrants on the labor market in Germany shapes the gendered employment patterns of their unions, which, in turn, affect the members of the majority population. For non-migrant men, exogamy is associated with a re-traditionalization of employment patterns, whereby a man is more likely to be the main earner if he is in an exogamous union than if he is in an endogamous union. For non-migrant women, by contrast, we find evidence of a role reversal in exogamous unions, whereby the woman is more likely to be the main earner.
Braack, Mirko K., Nadja Milewski und Heike Trappe. 2022. Crossing Social Boundaries in an Immigration Context: Exogamy and Gendered Employment Patterns in Unions in Germany. In: Gender Issues 39, Nr. 2: 142–176. doi: 10.1007/s12147-021-09281-8.