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From genuine to sham marriage

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings - With ISBN/ISSNChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Publication date2015
Host publicationRevisiting Moral Panics
EditorsViviene E. Cree, Gary Clapton, Mark Smith
PublisherPolicy Press
ISBN (print)9781447321859
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This chapter presents the current discourse on ‘sham marriage’ – marriages of convenience for immigration purposes – as a moral panic. The perceived faking of intimate relationships for remuneration or the gains of economic migration has provoked amplified outrage in cases where those in positions of moral authority have reportedly been involved in organised ‘sham marriage rackets’. We trace the moral panic over sham marriage through its visual and provocative depiction in media coverage – newspaper articles, investigatory documentaries – to its perpetuation in the UK government’s ongoing project of managing immigration (including ministerial speeches and advice to registrars).