The Working of Heteronormativity: Transnational Remarriage as Pragmatic Strategy
This article uses empirical findings derived from in-depth interviews with remarried individuals in Singapore to present a sociological analysis on transnational remarriage. Contributing to existing scholarship on remarriage, the article discusses specifically transnational remarriages where transnational divorcees enter another transnational marriage. Adopting a transnational, intersectional feminist perspective, the article analyzes anecdotal accounts of remarried individuals to illustrate how unequal effects of globalization and the intersection of nationality, class, and gender shape the conditions under which transnational divorcees remarry and pursue happiness. The empirical discoveries reveal how the remarried participants veer off the normative pathway of heteronormative modern marriage where one would fall in love, marry, and enjoy the companionship of a soul mate. Transnational remarriage is instead employed as a pragmatic strategy for attaining various happiness goals, namely, restored masculinity, social recognition, mobilities, and family reunification, thereby challenging dominant meanings of modern marriage. Having said that, the participants' anecdotes show that their happiness goals continue to be lodged within the framework of heteronormative marriage though their pathways may differ from the normative ones. Their accounts of their motivations to remarry and meanings of marriage reveal the profound effects of heteronormativity in their decisions and trajectories. The article thereby offers a critique of heteronormativity through a feminist gaze on remarriage.