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Sex, Love, and MigrationPostsocialism, Modernity, and Intimacy from Istanbul to the Arctic$
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Alexia Bloch

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781501713149

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501713149.001.0001

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Strategic Intimacy, “Real Love,” and Marriage

Strategic Intimacy, “Real Love,” and Marriage

(p.115) 4 Strategic Intimacy, “Real Love,” and Marriage
Sex, Love, and Migration

Alexia Bloch

Cornell University Press

Drawing on conversations and formal interviews with more than fifty women working long-term as sales assistants, exotic dancers, and domestic workers in Istanbul, this chapter explores the intimate ties that post-Soviet migrant women often maintain with Turkish men. The chapter considers the role that strategic intimacies play in mobility projects globally and reflects on how hegemonic masculinities in Turkey come together with dominant forms of femininity among post-Soviet migrant women. Finally the chapter argues that while structural constraints and border regimes in part shape migrant women’s intimate practices, women’s accounts of love, romance, and conversions to Islam as a sign of devotion to their lovers, suggest a line between “love” and material security is blurred and shifts over time.

Keywords:   Turkey, intimacy, marriage, masculinities, Islam, migration, love, femininity, sexuality, border regimes, emotion

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