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Introduction English law has developed a complex set of rules and regulations to determine what types of marriage ceremonies create the legal status of ‘marriage’. Failures to fulfil these legal requirements have led to confusing outcomes as courts grapple with the consequences of non-compliance. The current rules and regulations do not reflect the diverse ways in which members of Britain’s multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-religious and non-religious society enters into marriages. Muslims in particular have been highlighted as a community who are

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. It has been suggested by organizations including the ‘Register our Marriage Campaign’ 1 that Muslim nikah ceremonies should be legally recognized, but this assumes that legal recognition benefits all women equally. In fact, it would limit the autonomy of women who voluntarily opt to live in a religious-only monogamous or polygynous marriage because they see greater benefit in remaining outside of legal recognition. The question arises of how to protect those who are vulnerable, while enabling others to enter religious marriages outside of the law. The

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, 2013 ), with their fusion of romantic love and consumer culture legitimating conspicuous consumption ( Otnes and Pleck, 2003 ). They are also occasions that rely heavily on the idea of tradition, with certain elements, rituals and ceremonies persisting over time regardless of ceremony type and social change ( Leonard, 1980 ; Walliss, 2001 ; Carter and Duncan, 2017 ; 2018 ; Carter, 2021 ). Couples getting married do not usually need to choose from these different meanings. In 2020, however, the COVID-19 pandemic forced thousands of couples to change how they had

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Status, Similarities and Solutions

Cohabiting couples and those entering religious-only marriages all too often end up with inadequate legal protection when the relationship ends. Yet, despite this shared experience, the linkages and overlaps between these two groups have largely been ignored in the legal literature.

Based on wide-ranging empirical studies, this timely book brings together scholars working in both areas to explore the complexities of the law, the different ways in which individuals experience and navigate the existing legal framework and the potential solutions for reform.

Illuminating pressing implications for social policy, this is an invaluable resource for policy makers, practitioners, researchers and students of family law.

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The Need for Reform

Marriage law in England and Wales is a historical relic which reflects a bygone age.

Successive governments have made a series of progressive but ad hoc reforms, most notably the introduction of civil partnerships and same-sex marriage. However, this has resulted in a legal framework which is complex and controversial, especially in relation to religion.

This book provides the first accessible guide to how contemporary marriage law interacts with religion and identifies pressure points in relation to non-religious organisations and unregistered religious marriages. It reveals the need for the consolidation, modernisation and reform of marriage law and sets out proposals for how the transformation of these laws can be achieved.

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A Critical Feminist Analysis

Slaves, mistresses, concubines – the English courts have used these terms to describe polygamous wives in the past, but are they still seen this way today?

Using a critical postcolonial feminist lens, this book provides a contextualised exploration of English legal responses to polygamy. Through the legacies of British imperialism, the book shows how attitudes to polygamy are shaped by indifference and hostility towards its participants. This goes beyond the law, as shown by the stories of women shared throughout the book negotiating their identities and relationships in the UK today.

Through its analysis, the book demonstrates how polygamy and polygamous wives are subjected to imperialist and orientalist discourses which dehumanise them for practising a relationship that has existed for millennia.

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Building Bridges, Not Barriers

How many questions could you answer in a pub quiz about British values?

Designed to ensure new migrants have accepted British values and integrated, the UK’s citizenship test is often portrayed as a bad pub quiz with answers few citizens know. With the launch of a new post-Brexit immigration system, this is a critical time to change the test.

Thom Brooks draws on first-hand experience of taking the test, and interviews with key figures including past Home Secretaries, to expose the test as ineffective and a barrier to citizenship. This accessible guide offers recommendations for transforming the citizenship test into a ‘bridge to citizenship’ which fosters greater inclusion and integration.

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Analysing Meetings in Social Welfare

This book brings together contributions from a range of social welfare settings, including child welfare, unemployment, mental health and substance abuse treatment, to examine how interprofessional collaboration and service user participation are realised or challenged in multi-agency meetings.

It provides empirically grounded analyses of specific aspects of multi-agency work and offers a distinctive conceptual framework for understanding and analysing interaction during meetings in various social welfare settings.

Based on audio and video recordings, the authors provide clear examples of actual practices of social welfare professionals and demonstrate how the realisation of collaborative and integrated welfare policy is contingent on effective interactional practices between professionals and service users.

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Experiencing nationality law

Available Open Access under CC-BY-NC licence.

Long term resident migrants to the UK, who often possess valuable skills for the economy, still face significant barriers to citizenship. In this important book, Dr Prabhat captures the experiences of those who successfully become British citizens through stories of belonging, citizenship and the law; beautifully illustrated by artist Sam Church. Speaking to contemporary times of Brexit, the book exposes the challenges which become insurmountable for many migrants, and illuminates the gap between policy and practice in gaining British citizenship.

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The UK and Belgium in Comparative Perspective

In this incisive analysis, Sredanovic compares and contrasts the experiences of citizenship and integration policies in the UK and Belgium.

In-depth interviews with officials illuminate both the everyday application of approaches to citizenship and integration, and their evolution in recent years. By examining the levels of discretion that exist within the two countries’ systems, this book explores the variations within the implementation processes.

The first comparative work of its kind, this book goes beyond the analysis of legislation to explore how citizenship and integration policies are applied on the frontline.

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