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BACKGROUND/AIM: Why has the apparently high rate of cousin marriage among Bradford Pakistanis been sustained, 50 years since Pakistani migration to Britain began? METHODS: A review of the anthropological literature on Pakistani migration and settlement, British Pakistani marriage patterns and the phenomenon of transnational marriage. RESULTS: British Pakistanis are diverse in regional origins and social class characteristics, with many Bradford Pakistanis originating from the Mirpur district and northern Punjab. British Pakistani marriages often involve a partner from Pakistan who joins a spouse in the UK. Transnational marriage of first cousins offers relatives in Pakistan opportunities for a 'better' life in the West and are important for British Pakistanis for economic, social, cultural and emotional reasons. These processes are also differentially influenced by region of origin and class characteristics in Pakistan as well as by education, employment and locality in Britain. The pattern observed in Bradford may not be applicable nationally. CONCLUSION: Further research examining marital decisions over several generations in families differing by social class, region of origin in Pakistan and locality in Britain is necessary to contextualise the findings from Bradford.

Original publication

DOI

10.1159/000358011

Type

Journal article

Journal

Hum Hered

Publication Date

2014

Volume

77

Pages

26 - 36

Keywords

Consanguinity, Culture, Emigration and Immigration, History, 20th Century, History, 21st Century, Humans, Marriage, Pakistan, Social Class, United Kingdom