Francesco Cerchiaro

Francesco Cerchiaro
KU Leuven | ku leuven · Centre for Sociological Research

PhD in Social Sciences
FWO senior Fellow, ​Center for Sociological Research​ (CeSO), KU Leuven (Belgium)

About

14
Publications
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99
Citations
Citations since 2017
11 Research Items
97 Citations
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Introduction
I am a cultural sociologist with a specific interest in the intersection of family, migration and religion. My research is characterized by the use of qualitative methods (life stories). My focus on mixed families and, in particular, on Christian-Muslim families, represents a key to examining the wider social changes related to family, Muslim migration and religious pluralism in Europe. I am currently an FWO senior fellow at the Centre for Sociological Research (CeSO), KU Leuven, Belgium.

Publications

Publications (14)
Article
Full-text available
The question of how to interview a couple is controversial. Some scholars assume that individual interviews are the best way of inquiring into couple processes because they bring the interviewer closer to the interviewee “voice”, while others suggest that couple interviews are preferable as they result in the production of “richer data” and avoid e...
Article
Based on biographical interviews held in Italy, France and Belgium with mixed couples where one partner has a Muslim background and the other a Christian one, the analysis highlights the factors involved when a relationship generates negative reactions among the family of the majority partner. The article questions the assumption according to which...
Chapter
The debate about mixed individuals’ identities is marked by a polarisation that tends to conceptualise identity as a choice between the binary categories of ‘either-or’, or as a monolithic entity ‘diluted’ or ‘lost’ in generational transmission. Based on 66 in-depth biographical interviews with mixed individuals raised in Christian-Muslim families...
Article
This paper addresses the local cultural consequences of the tourist quest for authenticity through an ethnographic study of an ancient Christianized pagan spring ritual in Northern Italy. Rather than embracing its Christian features, tourists and local inhabitants alike define its meaning in romanticist terms. This informs “stage fright” at both en...
Article
Circumcision is an important symbolic practice that involves parenting and intergenerational transmission. Nevertheless, previous research has not investigated what it actually means to the partners, its significance in countries where Muslims are minorities and — above all — if people marry outside their own religious group. Through an analysis of...
Article
Previous research on interreligious marriages has indicated that they tend to cause both ethnic and religious ‘dilution’ and ‘loss’, but these concepts are misleading and cannot explain different and often contradictory identification processes. Based on qualitative in-depth interviews with 66 sons and daughters raised in families where one partner...
Article
Through the life stories of 20 couples comprising Italian women and Moroccan men living in Italy, this article explores the interconnections between emotions, masculinity, and migration. The aim is to understand the extent to which a mixed marriage challenges particularistic definitions of masculinity. The article contributes to gender and migratio...
Preprint
Full-text available
Mixed families have historically been considered to be a direct consequence of a process of social and cultural integration of migrants within the host society, although this link has recently been problematized by scholars. By focusing on the case study of an association of "Christian-Muslim" families in Belgium, this article offers a better under...
Article
This work draws on the life stories of 18 couples, of which the men, married to Italian women, come from majority-Muslim countries. These couples incorporate more layers of differences: religious, as the two partners are socialised into both Islam and Catholicism, and racial-ethnic, as a white Italian partner is married to a non-white immigrant par...
Article
Full-text available
Framed within the perspective of everyday multiculturalism, this work analyses partners’ reflexivity in mixed couples, of which the men are immigrant, originally from countries with Muslim traditions, now married to Italian women. The concept of “mixed couple”, often defined around the label of diversity, and uncritically presumed to have a one-dim...
Book
Full-text available
La pluralità di modi di ‘fare famiglia’ comprende, sempre più, il fenomeno delle coppie miste, riflesso emblematico del carattere plurale e dei mutamenti sociali del nostro Paese. Quando uno dei partner di queste coppie è musulmano esse diventano ancor più un luogo privilegiato in cui osservare l’interazione tra differenze culturali e religiose. Qu...
Article
Based on a three-year ethnographic study of processes of identity construction in 15 Christian-Muslim couples in Italy, this paper focuses on religion and analyses how partners rely on various strategies in order to deal with religious differences within the context of family life. Does religious pluralism emerge as a problem actually perceived by...

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