Gender and social control in negotiations over filial obligations: adult children and their ageing parents in Iranian refugee families

Zeinab Karimi, Johanna Hiitola

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelVetenskapligPeer review


This article investigates gendered meanings attached to filial obligations when they are negotiated between Iranian refugee parents and their children. We investigate gender in intergenerational relationships by using the frame of social control, understanding it as a form of institutional, normative and internalized control. This research is based on an ethnographic study of Iranian families living in Finland. The data consists of observations and interviews with adult children and their parents. The results show that the daughters were able to negotiate their filial obligations with their parents in strategic ways. They actively spoke against their parents’ normative control to make independent choices. However, following their parents’ wishes was also a way for the daughters to actively maintain their own cultural values. The sons were often expected to take care of their ageing parents and had little agency when negotiating the intensity of these demands for support. So rather than making decisions about maintaining their cultural values like the daughters, the sons were often automatically expected to offer support and guidance. However, the sons experienced less normative control when interacting with their parents.
TidskriftCrossings: Journal of Migration & Culture
Sidor (från-till)205-221
Antal sidor17
StatusPublicerad - 1 okt. 2019
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad


  • 5141 Sociologi

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