[Publication] Book chapter: Social Relatedness and Forenaming in ‘Mixed’ Families

Asuncion Fresnoza-Flot (2023). Social Relatedness and Forenaming in ‘Mixed’ Families: Valuing Children of Filipino-Belgian Couples. In D. Bühler-Niederberger, X. Gu, J. Schwittek & E. Kim (eds.) The Emerald Handbook of Childhood and Youth in Asian Societies, Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 321-338. DOI: 10.1108/978-1-80382-283-920231020 [Open Access]

The literature on ‘mixed’ families (in which members are socially viewed as ‘different’ due to their varying ethnicities and/or nationalities) identifies several stakes of mixedness. One of them arises from childbirth, after which parents need to give name(s) to their offspring. How does the parent–child dyad understand the giving of names in their mixed family? What does naming children unveil regarding interpersonal interactions and the value of children within this social unit? The chapter delves into these questions through a case study of forenaming children in Filipino-Belgian families in Belgium. Interview data analysis reveals two modes of forenaming in these families: individualisation through single forenames and reinforcement of collective affiliation through compound forenames. Through the analytical framework of social relatedness, this chapter uncovers the way the act of naming a child bridges families based on biological and social ties, generations, and parents’ nations of belonging in their transnational spaces. The complex process of naming reflects the power dynamics not only within the parental couple but also within the wider set of social relations. Although the use of forename(s) in everyday life and in legal terms differ, the value of children in the mixed families studied lies in their symbolic role as social bridges linking generations and non-biological relationships, the then and now, and the here and there.

[About the handbook] [Read the chapter here]

Cite this blog post
Cai Chen (2023, September 8). [Publication] Book chapter: Social Relatedness and Forenaming in ‘Mixed’ Families. BelMix. Retrieved February 24, 2024, from https://doi.org/10.58079/lwwd