OS5 Intermarried Couples and mixed parenting: Local Lives in a transnational context

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This symposium deals with the phenomena of intermarriage and mixed families with primary focus on ethnically intermarried couples in Europe. The phenomenon of intermarriage is considered as an intimate relationship involving distant social groups, which are constructed in time and place through specific categories such as “race”, “ethnicity” or “religion”. This leads to “mixed”, “blended” or “multi-ethnic/ multiracial” families (Törngren, Irastorza & Song, 2016) and children who construct their personal identity with their parents’ sense of belonging taken into account. The “mixed” population is considered one of the fastest growing ones globally, yet there is limited European including Nordic research about them within the field of Family life or Migration studies. In some of the international research literature, mixed couples have been either problematized or glorified (Killian, 2013; Bhagun, 2016). These symposia attempts to move beyond these one-sided understandings through contemporary innovative research primarily in Nordic countries, also Portugal. Intermarriage is not only mutual understanding between the partners but, also, a consequence of geopolitical, economic, racial and gender power relations beyond the citizen/foreigner opposition (Daniel & Kalema, 2017). In the past two decades, migration-and transnational marriages (Williams, 2010;Charsley 2013) have gained attention, which also includes intermarriages. Still, the challenges facing couples involving ‘foreign’ and ‘Western’ spouses are considerable and not well researched, especially in relation to the intersection of multiple power relations (Phoenix, 2011).These phenomena are explored in the symposia by drawing on both quantitative data and detailed narratives about the mixed couples’ own experiences of diverse everyday life themes (Singla, 2015), health care practices (Staiton et al, 2018) and the surrounding society’s attitude to mixed marriages (Törngren, 2011). Mixed couples’ negotiations as parents in raising and socializing their children and their diverse identifications (Cabarello, et al 2008, Song, 2017) are also covered. The nuanced results reveal both celebration and vilification of mixedness such as a broader horizon, greater acceptance of differences and exclusory experiences related to racism within and beyond communities. Varying degrees of transnational bonds to both ‘contexts’ and the partner’s own reflections about mixedness are covered along with the differential approaches to “blended” parenting. Some questions to be discussed in these symposia consider what constitutes “mixing” and its patterns in different temporal contexts. What are the mental health consequences of mixed marriages for partners generally and for a specific group? What are the diverse parenting approaches, educational and transnational challenges related to parenting of mixed children? With paper abstracts from: 1.Sayaka Osanami Törngren and Nahikari Irastorza, Malmö University, Sweden Is Sweden becoming a melting pot or salad bowl? A historical overview of mixed marriages and mixed children in Sweden 1998-2015 As a consequence of globalization and international migration to and from Sweden, the option of choosing a life partner of migrant background (either foreign-born or with foreign-born parents) is increasing. Despite the fact that the number of mixed marriages in Sweden is growing and the backgrounds of the mix are diversifying, researchers have paid very little attention to the topic of mixed marriages and mixed children. This article focuses on mixed marriages and families - where one of the partners has a Swedish background (two parents born in Sweden) and the other one has a different ethnic or racial background (which includes those who are Sweden-born). This paper gives a historical overview of mixed marriages and mixed children in Sweden from 1998 and 2015 through an analysis of the actual numbers of mixed marriages, and the socioeconomic status of mixed families using Swedish register data. The analysis will also look at factors such as gender and country of origin and whether they affect the composition of mixed marriages and the socioeconomic status of mixed families. 2. Straiton, M. Ansnes, T. & Tschirhart, N. Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo Transnational marriages and the health and well-being of Thai immigrant women living in Norway 1Division of mental and physical health, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, 2Immigrant Services, Municipality of Oppdal, 3Institute of Health and Society, University of Oslo There is little research on the health and well-being of immigrant women in transnational marriages. Research on Thai women in transnational relationships tends to focus on their position as immigrant wives and the vulnerabilities to exploitation and abuse they face. Focusing on only discourses around marital relationships may be limiting when trying to understand factors that influence the health and well-being of Thai immigrant women. We conducted interviews with 13 Thai immigrant women living in Norway who have (had) a Norwegian spouse /partner to shed more light on this topic. Our thematic analyses suggested that initial culture shock and a mixture of employment issues, transnational ties, marital relationships and social networks intertwined to influence women’s health and well-being over time. Sending financial remittances to family in Thailand could be challenging due to struggles to obtain suitable employment, working in low-paid physical jobs and spouses’ lack of understanding of this cultural practice. Over time, these intertwined factors led to chronic stress and deteriorating health for some. Thai networks and friendships were important for emotional and practical support. Despite having (had) a Norwegian partner, many of our informants, appear to remain economically marginalised which impacts their health and well-being. 3. Helene Bang Appel, Metropolitan College, Denmark & Rashmi Singla Roskilde University Denmark ( Registered separately) 4.Sandra Mateus ,Institute Universitário de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal Doing differently? Mixed parentage educational practices and resources in Portugal Abstract The purpose of this presentation is to discuss the family diversity, socioeconomic conditions and educational practices of parents of students of mixed origin, comparing those with the ones from native peers and other children of immigrants. Are they different from migrant and native families? Do the educational practices of these families differ from other families? Do the mixed origin students perform differently in school? The analysis is based on data from a mixed-method research, finished in 2013 - ITEOP (Survey of Educational Pathways and Vocational Orientations), involving 1,194 9th-grade students (aged 14-19), surveyed at 13 schools in the Lisbon, Setubal and Faro regions, in Portugal. Surveyed students include 789 natives and 405 children of immigrants; within these 95 are multiracial and multi-ethnic, combining Portuguese and other origin (74% African). The analysis will integrate dimensions such as the migratory profile, social conditions, educational, cultural and communication practices developed in the family. Within the mixed origin students’ parents we find distinctive family structures, social profiles, and modalities of educational support. These mixed families are socially more privileged when compared to immigrant families; and sometimes even with the native families. They show predominantly nuclear and blended family structures, higher academic qualifications, levels of activity and insertion in qualified professions. These differences distinguish them from immigrant families and translate in specific educational practices and outcomes
Publikationsdato1 sep. 2018
StatusUdgivet - 1 sep. 2018
Begivenhed9th European Society on Family Relations (ESFR) congress: “Families through the lens of diversity” - Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences of the University of Porto , Porto , Portugal
Varighed: 5 sep. 20188 sep. 2018
Konferencens nummer: 9


Konference9th European Society on Family Relations (ESFR) congress
LokationFaculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences of the University of Porto
AndetIn the beginning of the 21st century, European societies are confronted with many challenges such as inequalities, the integration of migrants and refugees, an aging population, a decrease in fertility and the ubiquity of social media and technology. At the same time, family relations have become more diverse and family remains one of the major areas of life investment for individuals. The 9th ESFR conference will be an opportunity to look at contemporary families and how they deal with these challenges in diverse ways.

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