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Learning in diversity: Redefining parenting in a context of polarization

2.5 Intercultural-cultural communication and new forms of being
Paper presentation on PhD Day
10:30 AM, Lundi 28 Août 2017 (30 minutes)
Migration, globalization and digitalization have caused families to increasingly engage in transnational ties. At the same time economic crises, international wars and recent terrorist attacks contribute to ethnic tensions between sociocultural groups. Transnational parents and their children in European societies are facing increasing polarization in societal discourse and experience stereotyping and racism in everyday social encounters. This dialogue paper starts out by providing a review on parenting and learning in a cultural contact zone characterized by ethnic tensions and polarization. The paper continues by presenting a case study in which socio-cultural perspectives on learning and development are used to understand how transnational parents learn and reconstruct their parenting beliefs and practices engaging in such a context. The analyses focus on 1) how transnational parents experience their parenting contexts and 2) how these experiences affect their learning processes concerning parenting. Semi-structured in-depth interviews with parents from Moroccan diaspora living in Dutch urban areas (n=23) and micro-ethnographic data (n=3) were gathered. Preliminary results show that transnational parents increasingly experience a clash between their parenting and learning intentions and practices on the one hand and representations of themselves as parents in societal discourse on the other. Moreover, parents become more conscious of the citizen aspects of their parenting and increasingly worry about their children’s identity formation and citizenship. The results reveal how the parenting practices they create in order to cope with the experienced polarization present in their parenting contexts are a result of the socio-political setting these parents are situated in.
Utrecht University
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