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Averting, stepping-up or shielding: School strategies and intensive minority parenting among second-generation minority Danish parents

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Based on ethnographic fieldwork and life-story interviews, this article examines parenting and school strategies of the emergent second generation of minority Danish parents and how they are shaped by their generational position. Across socio-economic differences, the participating parents are highly engaged in their children’s schooling and well-being, practising an ‘intensive parenting’ widespread in the contemporary social generation and also dominant among majority Danish parents. Yet they also draw on their first-hand knowledge of being minority children in Danish schools and society to protect their children against discrimination against Muslims and negative influence from both majority and minority Danes. The article suggests that the parents thus engage in ‘intensive minority parenting’ and employ different school strategies: an ‘averting strategy’ characterised by fending off negative influences and antagonists in multi-ethnic neighbourhoods; a ‘stepping-up strategy’ characterised by performing middle-class parenthood in (upper)middle-class neighbourhoods; and a ‘shielding strategy’ characterised by carving out a safe new cultural space in ‘free schools’ with other second-generation parents. Differing from the paths of ‘segmented assimilation’, these strategies do not depend on ethnic background, but rather on the parents’ current social environment and interrelated factors of their own experiences with school, further education, their family and broader society.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, JEMS
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Apr 2023

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