Child Rearing in Six Ethnic Families

Author: Dekovic, Maja, Trees Pels and Suzanne Model, editors
Dekovic, Maja, Trees Pels and Suzanne Model, editors
Dekovic, Maja, Trees Pels and Suzanne Model, editors
This volume reports the results of several empirical studies on indigenous and non-indigenous Dutch families conducted in the late nineties by leading Dutch experts on child rearing. The non-indigenous groups were chosen to represent the three major types of immigration to Holland: voluntary labor migrants (Turks, Moroccans and Chinese), colonial migrants (Surinamese Creoles) and refugees (Somalis). The studies were conceived in response to a government initiative to obtain information regarding “normal family life” in contemporary Dutch society. Their goal was to facilitate prevention and intervention in the field of child welfare and parental support.


“This book is a pioneering initiative that sheds light on family life and child rearing in the context of European immigration. It is also a remarkable book, a ‘first’ of its kind ... Why a ‘first’? It is unique in bringing together and integrating several notable features. First of all, the volume reflects the work of an interdisciplinary team of social scientists from three different Dutch universities who study the issues concordantly within a research program involving different studies. Secondly, the chapters are rich in both theory and empirical information; the former helping the reader to understand the latter better. Thirdly, not one or two but the full range of six major ethnic groups in The Netherlands are studied, including also the native Dutch. Fourth, the benefits of both emic and etic orientations are utilized, as each group is studied both in depth in its own right, and also in comparative terms ... Finally, while on the one hand the authors provide information, insights and analysis of the existing situation, on the other hand they address policy and application issues toward the solution of the existing problems. It is rare, indeed, to find all these diverse attributes in a single volume ...” – (from the Commendatory Preface) Prof. Dr. Cigdem Kagitçiba?i, Koc University, Instanbul, Turkey

“This book provides a comprehensive overview of family life and child rearing in the contemporary multicultural Dutch society. Just as in many other Western European countries, the composition of the population in The Netherlands is changing, with the proportion of immigrants steadily increasing. The adaptation to a new society is often not without problems. Non-indigenous parents are over-represented in Holland’s disadvantaged populations. Thus, it is not surprising that their children are more likely to experience developmental difficulties and various psychosocial problems than the children of the indigenous Dutch ... The style, content and message of the book is so heavily interdisciplinary that at least three sets of academics can be expected to show an interest: psychologists, anthropologists, and sociologists ...” – Prof. Dr. Jan M.A.M. Janssens, Radboud University Migmegen, The Netherlands

“ ... Our conceptions of family life and parenting practices should be revised by taking into account foreign conceptions and practices. How do immigrant parents raise their children? How do they think about children, about child rearing, and about parenthood? What kind of problems do parents experience and how do they deal with those problems? These are part of the important questions that the editors want to raise and shed light on ... Little is known about these issues in spite of the growing population of immigrants in Europe. From my reading I come to the conclusion that this book is one of the first attempts to fill this gap. I would strongly recommend its reading not only to a Dutch audience but also to a broader audience of scholars, students and professionals interested in this topic.” – Professor Maria Jose Rodrigo, University of La Laguna, Spain

"In conclusion, this book has many merits, among which surely is the individuation of a still understudied area: the inter-generation and family one and the choice of avoiding unease as the crucial issue of the survey." - Migration Letters