Parenting practices in a migration context : A qualitative interview study of five Spanish mothers living in Germany

University essay from Linköpings universitet/Tema Barn

Abstract: Europe is living a process of internalisation: the EU policies toward new economic agreements and visa regimes have increased transnational migrations, and have affected the way national borders are understood (Silverstein, 2005:376)⁠. Besides, social researchers have highlighted the active role of children (see e.g. Ryan et al., 2008), who seem to influence the migration process of the parents in the receiving country and make the experience of migrant parents a focus of interest. This qualitative research focuses on parents living in Germany, exploring their talks about parenting practices in a migration context. For this, five Spanish mothers living in Berlin and Munich are interviewed, and their discourses are analysed using the thematic analysis presented by Braun & Clarke (2006). The study exposes the following themes: the perceived national differences in child rearing and family care; the cultural heritage and presence of the Spanish language and culture in the parenting practices; and the experience of care delegation in the foreign country. It also comments on the perceived influence of children in the migration process of the participants. The study concludes on the significant presence of the origin language and culture in the parenting practices of the participants and the great influence that having children has had in the in their migration experience. The presence of children affects the relation to their own culture and language, their opinions towards the welfare system and culture of Germany, and their social life and further permanence in the receiving country. 

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