(Ethnically)Mixed parenting challenges in context of Danish Welfare state

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(Ethnically)Mixed parenting challenges in context of Danish Welfare state
This paper deals with phenomenon of mixed parenting processes in Denmark, which have been barely scientifically explored probably due to the dominant discourse colourblindness and the historical silencing of mixedness. Another focus area is the implication of this phenomenon for provision of relevant services for mixed families in Danish welfare society with emphasis on gender and ethnic egalitarianism, wealth redistribution, universal healthcare and public services that provide elaborate safety net.
The research question is how the visibly ethnically different mixed couples negotiate parenting of their children- who are children of mixed heritage, in contemporary Denmark characterised by a generalised climate of overlooking and suspicion towards mixedness.
The methodology comprises of in-depth interviews and case-study of eight couples (Singla, 2015*), where one partner is native Danish while the other originates from South Asia (India, Pakistan). Narratives are thematically analysed within a theoretical framework, in which Cultural psychology forms the background and is foregrounded by a combination of intersectionality, everyday life perspective and mixed parenting theories.
The results highlight the couples’ diverse parenting approaches in dealing with the external aspects such as the societal discrimination, other (s) gaze towards the visible differences. Similarly some type of racial discrimination, such as racist slurs, are also seen among mixed persons in America. For some parents this entails transmitting racial literacy - identifying racism as a serious problem and actively preparing their children to cope with it.
Facing these experiences implies that characteristics of couples lead to particular parenting approaches such as highly educated couples emphasising ‘open’/cosmopolitan approach, moving beyond narrow ethnic belongings.
The study points to a glaring lack of relevant services for mixed families implying institutional racism - collective failure of an organisation to provide appropriate and professional service to people because of their colour, culture and (mixed) ethnic origin. There is just no inclusion of mixedness in provision of services as the official category of mixedness is non-existent. Denmark’s statistics places ethnically mixed children as “Danes”.

Original languageEnglish
Publication date1 Aug 2016
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016
EventMigration and social inequality: Global perspectives – new boundaries - UiO- University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
Duration: 11 Aug 201612 Aug 2016


ConferenceMigration and social inequality
LocationUiO- University of Oslo
Internet address

Bibliographical note

s. 209-210

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