“Legal Affairs”:http://www.legalaffairs.org – an American magazine ‘at the intersection of law and life’ has produced an interesting piece about “mail order brides”:http://www.legalaffairs.org/issues/January-February-2004/story_labi_janfeb04.html which follows a few around – concentrating on Russian ones coming to America. According to the article there are at least 200 matchmaking agencies in the United States that broker marriages between American men and foreign women, arranging up to 6,000 unions a year (actually I am surprised the number isn’t larger). It’s broadly positive though it mentions a couple of disastrous unions and briefly discusses some of the legal protections that have been proposed to help protect the women. An interview (broadcast on “Thinking Allowed”:http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/factual/thinkingallowed_20030910.shtml) with “Nicole Constable”:http://www.pitt.edu/~pittanth/fac.html – a sociologist who studied the phenomenon in “Romance on a Global Stage”:http://www.ucpress.edu/books/pages/9922.html – is also surprisingly up-beat (she covers Chinese and Filipina women’s experiences).
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4 January 2004