on gender constructions among children of immigrants in Norway
Values and practices regarding sex and gender are among the most fundamental constituents of a society?s symbolic system as well as of an individual?s self. Gendered ways of behavior are symbolic markers of ethnicity, both in a process of labeling from the outside and in the construction of a subjective identity. Based on interviews with children of immigrants from patriarchal societies living in Norway, one of the countries in the world where gender equality has reached furthest, the article reveals the tension they experience between the ways gender issues are dealt with in their families and in the surrounding society. Their gender constructions cannot be understood only in light of cultural influence, as if on a scale running from conformity to parents? culture to conformity to Norwegian culture. There is something really new in the making new combinations and new creations reflecting the particular social situation of the young people of immigrant origin. The feelings of obligations and debt toward the parents are strong, as well as the adherence to traditional family values. Still there is clearly a tendency that ideas about individual rights, such as women?s and children?s rights to decide over their lives, are gaining influence.