New PhD student: Runa Preeti Høgnesen

As of 1st of October 2015 FREIA has a new PhD student.

My name is Runa Preeti Høgnesen, I am 37 years old and live in the Faroe Islands. I hold a bacheor degree in social science from the University of Faroe Islands (2009), and a full mas­ter in Culture, Communication and Globalisation from Aalborg University. From Au­gust 15 2015 and three years on, I will be jointly enrolled as a Phd student at the De­partment of So­cial Science and History at the Faroese University and the Department of Cul­ture and Global Studies at Aalborg University.

My Phd is about ‘Cross Border Marriage, Community and the Construction of Womanhood’, empirically on female migrant woment in the Faroe Islands. While young people – and in par­­ticular young women – are leaving the islands, often in pur­suit of education, and frequent­ly without returning, new population groups are entering the Faroe Islands.

Hence, the net out-migration of women from the Faroes Islands has im­plied a female deficit, and during the last 10 years the Faroe Islands have experienced an emergence and significant growth in female marriage mig­ra­tion from East Asian countries, mostly the Philippines and Thailand, but recently also from African countries.

While the deficit of women – particularly in the fertile age groups – may force single men from the Faroe Islands to look for brides outside the country, this does not explain why the brides to be decide to mary Faroese men and to choose the Faroe Islands as their future count­ry of re­sidence. In addition, and not least, we know almost nothing about how these woman are cop­ing with their new reality as wives, mothers, daughters and sisters in law, colleagues, friends etc.

Taking the marriage as the spatial and social center of gravity as empirical point of departure, I want to find out about the migrant wives’ coping strategies in different arenas, like the mar­ri­age, the labour market, institutional contexts (kinder garden, shcool etc.), organizational con­­­texts like congregations, clubs, parties, and social contexts (in-laws, friends – be it Faro­ese or non-Faroese, etc.).

The aim of my PhD is to analyse how the women in question construct – i.e. define and re-define – their woman­hood during this personal proces of spatial and social transition. My ana­­lytical approach is epistemological-interpretative. As far as the empirical basis for my analyses is concerned, I will conduct interviews with the respondants as couples and as indi­viduals, and topic focused group-interviews as well.

Privately I am married with three children, Dávid (15), Eva (14), and Rói (11).

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