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Fathers, sons and Islam: migrating between Oedipus & Abraham

Report of the seminar on December 5th 2012 about father-son relationships in migrant families – 2012.

Why do parents and children, or more specifically fathers and sons, struggle so often to maintain a good relationship in migrant families? Redouane Ben Driss, psychologist and therapist at the CGG (Centre for Mental Health) in Brussel, department culture-sensitive care, meets fathers who struggle with their paternal role on a daily basis.

He learned that the ‘western’ Oedipus myth, that represents the classical father-son conflict, doesn’t apply on migrant families, especially families of Maghreb-origin. In the Islamic Abraham (or Ibrahim) myth he finds inspiration for a more equal father-son relationship, a model of ‘responsible commitment’ and of harmony, instead of conflict, between father and son.

The Higher Institute for Family Studies was glad to answer to his call to reflect on better ways to support migrant families together. During a seminar on December the 5th two of our researcher and lecturers, Hans Van Crombrugge and Koen Baeten, responded to his premise.

You can download the research report for free (only in Dutch).

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