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Mixed families in contemporary London

This is a group project examining the experiences of couples in mixed families in contemporary London. Five MA social work students are involved, each exploring a specific group of mixed families in which couples are from different races or different nationalities, ethnicities or faith groups. These groups of families include Christian-Muslim families, Black-British and South-Asian families, Zimbabwean inter-tribal families (the Ndebele and Shona); Black-British and Czech families and British-Portuguese families.

Whereas historically, research in this area tended to portray mixed families as potentially ‘problematic’ and leading to a variety of negative consequences for the parents and children, more current research challenges such perceptions and is able to highlight the strengths, coping mechanisms and a variety of advantages resulting from such families.

This project followed this more recent literature and explored the experiences of couples, the challenges they face as well as the ways in which these are overcome; the advantages and disadvantages of being part of a mixed family in contemporary London; the way families and couples make key decisions and how they negotiate their different cultural traditions, preferences and aspirations; how they pass these on to their children and what might be the positive and negative impact of these issues on family members’ wellbeing.


Meet the Principal Investigator(s) for the project

Dr. Yohai Hakak
Dr. Yohai Hakak - Dr Yohai Hakak joined Brunel in September 2014. Dr. Hakak's practice experience is in mental health social work. His areas of research interests are migration, embodiment, parenting, risk-perception, youth, religion, gender and mental health and the connection of these areas with social work. Dr Hakak published in these areas numerous articles. His last manuscript titled Haredi Masculinities between the Yeshiva, the Army, Work and Politics: The Sage, the Warrior and the Entrepreneur was an ethnographic study of Jewish Haredi (Ultra-Orthodox) young men in Israel. It was published by Brill in 2016. The outcomes of Yohai’s academic work included also several award-winning documentary films. Yohai is interested in supervising students in the following areas and in relation to social work: Migration Embodiment Religious minorities Masculine identities Mental health Risk and its perception Mixed couples

Related Research Group(s)

man with paint

Embodiment in Academic and Professional Practice - Development of an enhanced awareness of bodies as sensors of crucial information about ourselves and our reality; Enhancing our performance as human beings, practitioners, researchers and educators.

Partnering with confidence

Organisations interested in our research can partner with us with confidence backed by an external and independent benchmark: The Knowledge Exchange Framework. Read more.

Project last modified 02/10/2023