The Netherlands has seen heated debates about the purported problems with migrants and their offspring. These problems are primarily understood in terms of ethnic and cultural difference. How does this impact the encounter between migrant parents and professionals?


Amsterdam’s youth policy frames parents first and foremost as consumers free to seek out the support and care they need. But does this mean that professionals merely support parents, or do they also try to communicate their version of good parenting and citizenship? How are different groups of parents evaluated and treated? And how do professionals deal with these issues in their daily work? These are some of the questions Anouk de Koning asks in her research on professionals who work in the domain of parenting.
In contrast, Wiebe Ruijtenberg wonders how migrant parents, and more specifically Egyptian fathers, experience their parenting in the Amsterdam context. What do various professionals, neighbors and others in their social environs expect from them? What ideas regarding good fatherhood and good citizenship do they encounter? And how do they deal with these expectations and ideas?

Anouk de Koning

Anouk de Koning is Associate Professor at the Department of Anthropology and Development Studies, Radboud University, where she leads the Reproducing Europe project. During her PhD, she conducted anthropological research on the middle class in Cairo. She subsequently carried out social historical research in Suriname and anthropological research in Amsterdam’s Diamantbuurt. She is the author of Global Dreams: Class, Gender and Public Space in Cosmopolitan Cairo (AUC, 2009) and Introducing Urban Anthropology (Routledge, 2016). Besides leading the project, she also researches how professionals working in the domain of parenting in Amsterdam negotiate notions of good citizenship in encounters with their diverse clientele.

Wiebe Ruijtenberg

Wiebe Ruijtenberg is a PhD candidate at the Department of Anthropology and Development Studies, Radboud University. As part of the Reproducing Europe project, his research explores experiences of fatherhood among Egyptian fathers in Amsterdam, focusing in particular on the ways in which Egyptian fathers deal with social expectations regarding their parenting. Wiebe graduated from the Research Master Social Sciences at the University of Amsterdam with a thesis on social life in gated communities in Cairo, Egypt.