Mixed parentage: Negotiating identity in Denmark

Helene Bang Appel, Rashmi Singla

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Abstract

Mixed Parentage:
Negotiating identity among children of mixed parentage
Helene Bang Appel and Rashmi Singla

This chapter explores an overlooked and contested category in the area of childhood and migracy- children of ethnically mixed couples. These children in Denmark and other Nordic countries are characterised by commonality and contestation: Are they Danish, migrants, or mixed? The chapter deals with the dynamics of being placed between two socially recognized categories. Which alternative categories of ethnicity, race or nationality are acceptable for these children? What are the strategies for negotiating their social space? How is mixedness contextualized in Denmark?

With as starting point in the historical aspects for dealing with mixedness in Danish context, these questions are answered. Based on ten qualitative interviews with 10-18 years old children in Copenhagen and suburbs, the chapter shows how they construct identities that challenge the stereotypical notions of belonging, as they position themselves as having an “in-between” identity in their everyday lives among friends, family, leisure activities and the diasporic parents’ country of origin.
The chapter finally discusses how a new paradigm is evolving away from the pathologisation of mixed children, which entails both positive aspects and limitations of having multiple belongings. However, they face dilemmas when describing themselves because the society does not provide any categories that mirrors their authentic mixed life experiences. Consequently, they seem to challenge the outdated binary “either migrant or Danish”-identity, as they construct new categories in opposition to the hegemonic ones. The need for an inclusive understanding of migrancy and
new categories is articulated on a global scale - not just in Denmark.

249 words
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TitelContested Childhoods: Growing up in Migrancy : Migration, Governance, Identities
Redaktører Marie-Louise Seeberg, Elżbieta M. Goździak
Antal sider19
Udgivelses stedCham
ForlagSpringer
Publikationsdato27 okt. 2016
Sider139-157
Kapitel8
ISBN (Trykt)9783319446080
ISBN (Elektronisk)9783319446103
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 27 okt. 2016
NavnIMISCOE Research Series
ISSN2364-4087

Citer dette

Bang Appel, H., & Singla, R. (2016). Mixed parentage: Negotiating identity in Denmark. I M-L. Seeberg, & E. M. Goździak (red.), Contested Childhoods: Growing up in Migrancy: Migration, Governance, Identities (s. 139-157). Springer. IMISCOE Research Series https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-44610-3_8