Meet the in-laws

I attended an open event highlighting some of the complex difficulties affecting families and in particular women within ethnic communities. Religion, culture and tradition play a significant part in the lives of these communities. It was also noted that the make of families from these communities usually include extended family members who can have significant influence on the structure and control within the family and on members within it. For some these elements cause extreme conflict through clashes of values, ideals, lifestyles, rights, and such like, in the modern day. Some young people find themselves confused growing up in the middle of conflicting cultures and as I heard it can be difficult for young people to express themselves within the confines of the family structure and cultural control which is then expressed in a ‘safe’ environment of a classroom, normally perceived as aggressive or inappropriate behaviour rather than a venting of frustration and confusion. The work being done within the ethnic communities is tireless where mainstream support agents find it difficult to engage with families because of the cultural diversity and complexities, in addition to language barriers and citizenship status. It would be interesting to hear from those working in this area and in particular with reference to young people, improving family relationships and resolving family conflict.

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