Intergenerational Transmission of Ethnic Identity in Mixed Native Couples in Finland

2017-09-12T14:10:23Z (GMT) by Ognjen Obućina Jan Saarela
The aim of this study is to analyze the factors determining the ethnic affiliation of children born to interethnic native couples in Finland, i.e., couples with one Finnish-speaking and one Swedish-speaking partner, between 1988 and 2014. Apart from individual characteristics of each partner and contextual factors, we also consider the role of couple characteristics. We look at the affiliation of the first child, as well as the combined affiliation of the first two children in order to analyze how often children from the same parents are affiliated to different ethnicities. We show that around 60 percent of first- and second-born children of intermarriages born between 1988 and 2014 were members of the Swedish-speaking minority. The affiliation of the second child seldom differs from that of the first. In line with our expectations based on ethnic awareness, preference for cultural plurality and parental aspirations, the multivariate analysis shows a strong positive association between parental education level and the likelihood of the first child being Swedish speaking. The analysis also indicates that parents in mixed native couples do not seem to bargain over the ethnic identity of their children.