Mixed Parenting approaches: Narratives of Asian- Danish Children of Mixed Parentage

Rashmi Singla, Helene Ae Hee Bang Appel

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Mixed Parenting approaches: Narratives of Asian- Danish Children of Mixed Parentage This paper deals with mixed parenting approaches in Denmark, which have been barely scientifically explored due to the dominant discourse colourblindness and overlooking mixedness. Denmark’s statistics places ethnically mixed children as “Danes” while the international literature implies historical pathologisation, contestation and current complex paradigms. The research question is how the parenting of mixed heritage children takes place. To this purpose, an empirical qualitative in-depth-interview study of ten children and young people of mixed parentage residing in Copenhagen area was conducted (Appel & Singla, 2016). Through their narratives, parental approaches are derived. The theoretical framework is eclectic, combining post-structural approach with mixed identity negotiation theory and transnationalism. The results highlight diverse parenting approaches in dealing with the mixed children and how meanings regarding blended identities are passed through the parental generation. The young people position themselves as having an “in-between” identity, “ just Danes” or ‘citizens of the world’ in their everyday lives among friends, family, and during leisure activities. The three dominant approaches, also inspired by Roots, 1996 are placed as ‘feet in both camps’, ‘belonging to only one camp’ and ‘going beyond borders’ emphasizing ‘open’ approach (Singla. 2015). A new, nuanced paradigm is evolving, away from the pathologisation of mixed children, in which positive aspects in parenting such as focus on ‘fun part’ are also included. However, results even entail a lack of relevant services for mixed families implying institutional racism - collective failure of an organization to provide appropriate and professional service to people, because of their colour and mixed ethnic origin.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date1 Sep 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2018
Event9th 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
Duration: 5 Sep 20188 Sep 2018
Conference number: 9


Conference9th European Society on Family Relations (ESFR) congress
LocationFaculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences of the University of Porto
OtherIn 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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