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Exceptional StatesChinese Immigrants and Taiwanese Sovereignty$
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Sara L. Friedman

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780520286221

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520286221.001.0001

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Real or Sham? Evaluating Marital Authenticity

Real or Sham? Evaluating Marital Authenticity

(p.51) Two Real or Sham? Evaluating Marital Authenticity
Exceptional States

Sara L. Friedman

University of California Press

This chapter examines the discourse of sham marriage and its justification of a border-interview system specifically designed to assess the marriage motives of cross-Strait couples. Border interviews represent the efforts of the Taiwanese government to adapt recognized sovereign practices to its not quite state-to-state relationship with China. Through interviewing Chinese spouses arriving for the first time, the government makes a claim to inclusion in an international community of sovereign states committed to regulating cross-border flows. Yet despite this robust border-interview system, the categories of sham and real marriage remain notoriously difficult to define. Instead of weeding out couples in sham unions, the interview is more effective as an educational practice that promotes desirable models of cross-Strait family formation.

Keywords:   border interview, authenticity, sham marriage, sovereign practice, marriage motives, cross-Strait family

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