Partnering across border and mixed parentage young people in globalised Denmark

Rashmi Singla, Helene Bang

Publikation: KonferencebidragKonferenceabstrakt til konferenceForskningpeer review


Denmark is characterised by late modernity, egalitarian principles, ‘homogeneity’ and increasing diversity leading to intimate relationships across national and ethnic borders. Despite increase in number, mixed couples and their children are almost invisible as a statistical category and also in the field of Family Studies as they are absent among the themes for this conference
The major research questions covered in this are :what are the gender position dynamics among the couples when spouses originate from different parts of the world – India and Denmark?. How do the negotiations between the partners interplay with the dominant gender patterns in the both spouses country of origin? How about the young children of mixed parentage?

Based on two empirical studies conducted in Denmark among intermarried couples and children/ youth of ethnically mixed parentage these issues are explored.
The theoretical framework combines intersectionality approach with life course perspective combined with transnational relations. An existential understanding of sexual.desires and love is also a part of the framework of the first study.
The explorative study of couples is based on in- depth interviews with ten ‘ordinary’ persons in mixed families combined with a couple of clinical cases, while the youth study involves 10 participants.

Through illustrative narratives of Danish women married to Indian men, the major results are presented. The gender positions are affected by both the internal aspects, subjective feelings and behaviour, interfamily relations and the the external aspects such as other’s gaze to the members’ visible differences, societal attitudes Practices such as ongoing negotiation of gender positions, cultural capital contribute to mental well being of the couple, whereas rigid patterns lead to destructive conflictsidentity formation and experiences of exclusion, racial discrimination are presented through narrative analyses. The paper examines attitudes of young people of mixed parentage towards identity; their cultural origins; their friendships their experiences of racism and delineates different strategies for coping with the differences. The results emphasise the transformed perceptions of ethnically mixed children – from patholisation to combination of aspects from both belongings as well as uniqueness.
Analysis of narratives combined with the clinical cases focus both on the potentials and risks of such relationships forms basis for enhancing couple and mixed children / youth through mental health promotion, problem prevention and counselling.

Key words: Ethnic intermarriages, gender positions, mixed parentage youth ,negotiations , autonomous and relational orientation, negotiation of positions, mental well being

Antal sider1
StatusUdgivet - 2014
BegivenhedIMISCOE 11th Annual Conference: , Social Cohesion and Social Innovation - IEUM, Madrid, Spanien
Varighed: 27 aug. 201429 aug. 2014
Konferencens nummer: 11


KonferenceIMISCOE 11th Annual Conference


  • Ethnic intermarriages, gender positions, mixed parentage youth ,negotiations , autonomous and relational orientation, negotiation of positions, mental well being

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