Intermarriage, children of mixed parentage and mental health: Everyday life - and life course perspectives  

Rashmi Singla, Helene Bang

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearch


Globalisation has led to more diversity in the Scandinavian societies, thereby increased intimate partnerships and childbearing cross various borders, such as ethnic and religious. Intermarried couples challenge people’s idea of us and them – what belongs together – especially when their children are taken into consideration. Intermarriages are like microcosms revealing much about ethnic relations and dynamics in the society.

Various aspects especially psychosocial, concerning intermarried couples and their off springs - are rather understudied, though demographic trends indicate an increase in the mixed parentage population. The terms ‘mixed parentage’; ‘biracial’, ‘mixed ethnicity’ are used to describe offspring of parents of different ‘races’/ ethnicity. Identity formation is crucial for mixed parentage children who challenge the ‘white /black binary’ and essentialising of the ‘race’, which has recently received increasing attention in the UK and the USA.

This paper deals primarily with the mental health with focus on the identity formation among mixed parentage children, although most manage to achieve integrated identities, some experience identity conflicts. The latter pose a growing challenge to psychosocial services.

The paper is based on the first phase of a research project involving statistical knowledge and verbal narratives as a part of the qualitative research. Within the life course and everyday life perspectives, epistemological issues such as who can produce knowledge, about whom and on whose behalf are also dealt with. There is focus on the lived experiences of the couples as well as children and the filtering through their positions. Initial understanding of these issues in Denmark is offered.


Original languageEnglish
Publication date2010
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2010
EventSubjectivity, Learning and Everyday Life - Roskilde , Denmark
Duration: 26 May 201028 May 2010


ConferenceSubjectivity, Learning and Everyday Life
Internet address


  • intermarried couples
  • mixed parentage children
  • challenges to binaries
  • identity conflicts
  • verbal narratives

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