Influence of parenthood on ethnic identity
16 fevereiro 2023 | Online


Seminário Diversidade Cultural em Famílias Contemporâneas

Influence of parenthood on ethnic identity: a qualitative study among parents of mixed ethnic background children in Estonia



Gabriel Ceballos                    

Tartu University, Estonia              


Asuncion Fresnoza-Flot

Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium



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"Families formed by parents with different ethnic backgrounds represent a growing group around the world. This presentation analyses the influence of parenthood on ethnic identity awareness among parents of mixed-background children in Estonia. Information was collected through semi-structured interviews conducted separately among mothers and fathers. The results show that parenthood is a life event that influences ethnic identity awareness for this group of parents. Considerations about the child’s future activate parents’ ethnic identity processing. Reasoning about ethnic identity includes psychological, but also more practical and tangible, arguments related to theirs and their children’s life. The parents elevated interest in issues of ethnic identity was often related to their children’s prospects. The results suggest that parents’ ethnic identity is influenced by one or more of the following children’s prospects related mechanisms: raised awareness, communication enhancement, and multi-ethnic identity development. To our knowledge, this is one of the first studies about parenthood and ethnic identity among this group of parents."





Gabriel Ceballos was born in Mexico City and is a junior researcher on ethnic identity and integration among binational families in Estonia at the Institute of Social Studies at Tartu University, Estonia.  His inspiration is his own family along with the appetite to learn from the experiences of others on how to raise mixed-background children in a context where diversity is a relatively new trait.  In addition to his research work, Gabriel is an international higher education consultant for a portfolio of universities in different parts of the world  and has businesses in different sectors. He has a wealth of international experience and has worked in the past for organisations such as the British Council, the Foreign and Commonweath Office, the Spanish Ministry of Culture and Mexico City’s Ministry of Economy.



Asuncion Fresnoza-Flot holds a PhD in Sociology from the Paris Diderot University (now part of Paris Cité University) in France. She is tenured Research Associate of the Belgian Fund for Scientific Research (F.R.S.–FNRS) and Senior Lecturer at the Laboratory of Anthropology of Contemporary Worlds (LAMC) in Université libre de Bruxelles in Belgium. For the last ten years, she has been working on conjugal mixedness in Europe-Asia social spaces. Her recent publications include the Special Issues “Asia-Europe intimate links: family migrants, binational couples and mixed-parentage children” (with S. Wang, Asian and Pacific Migration Journal 2021) and “Divorce in transnational families: norms, networks, and intersecting categories” (with B. de Hart, Population, Space and Place 2022), as well as the volumes International marriages and marital citizenship. Southeast Asian women on the move (with G. Ricordeau, Routledge 2017 & 2019) and Tangled mobilities. Places, affects, and personhood in Asian migration (with G. Liu-Farrer, Berghahn 2022). Since January 2023, she has been leading as Principal Investigator the Horizon Europe collaborative project AspirE on "Decision making of aspiring (re)migrants to and within the EU: the case of labour market-leading migrations from Asia".


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