This interview-based study explores the challenges in the public and private realms that men with migrant backgrounds face in transitioning from adolescence to adulthood, and from country to country.
Fathers and sons with and without a migration backgrounds are at the center of this study. Little is known about the support that adolescent men receive from their immediate environment, especially their families, in their search for meaning, belonging, and identity. Based on the social mechanisms of patriarchal societies specific to their country of origin, migrant fathers usually hold a dominant role within the family structure. Their ‘new world’ demands more cooperation from them, not only in their marital relationship but also when interacting with their children. Adolescent men are caught between the demands their parents’ world places on them, sometimes reinforced by voices propagating archaic ideas of masculinity, and the expectations of their immediate environments. They grow up in a very specific situation that forces them to develop their identity whilst balancing two cultures. This study explores how societal norms and frameworks inform such dynamics and reactions within the family.