As detailed knowledge on multigenerational migrant families is sparse, this paper draws on quantitative and qualitative data to investigate intergenerational co-residence for older Turkish immigrants in Denmark. Registry data show that 23 per cent of Turkish immigrants in the 65-74-year age group live in intergenerational households – a level halfway between levels in Denmark and Turkey. These extended households are predominantly of the ‘culturally ideal’ type – formed by sons, sons’ wives, and often the couple’s children. One in five extended households, however, includes unwed sons and hence do not provide access to the labour power of daughters-in-law. Many factors seem to contribute to the observed pattern, including variable meanings of intergenerational co-habitation, high levels of poverty, and limited housing options for extended families. Interviews with older Turkish immigrants point to another contributing factor, namely, men’s difficulties finding wives willing to live with parents-in-law. The sons’ hardships in this regard can be tied to a Danish immigration regime that bars marriage migrants from entering into extended households. While Turkish women raised in Denmark do not face such legal restrictions, such young women may reject marriage proposals entailing in-law cohabitation. The study thus adds new nuances to our understanding of how the dynamics of age, gender and immigration experience may shape the ways in which older immigrants live in Europe today.
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