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Den kompletterade familjen: föräldraskap, fostran och förändring i en svensk småstad
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
1997 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The study presented here concerns how parents and children in a small Swedish town deal with the processes of child-rearing and socialization. Changes in family life and child care since the 1950s and especially the adjustment to women's work outside family, day-care, school and leisure are described and analyzed.

Data was collected mainly through qualitative interviews with mothers, fathers and the 12-13-year old child in 31 families. Some additional data from archives concerning local family policy and support has also been used.

The results illuminate important changes in the conditions of family life and childcare since the 1950s. Foundation is more clearly emotions, not material conditions. Motherhood and fatherhood have become relativly symmetrical. Domestic life is characterized on the one hand by a relatively flat hierarchy between parents and children and an emotional emphasis on nearness and intimacy, and on the other hand by demands on the children to take care of themselves, at least to some extent, as neither of the parents can or want to serve the family on a full-time basis. Another major change is in the way the families relate to other child- rearing agents (i.e. daycare/preschool, school and organized leisure activities). They have in varying ways adapted to and made use of that these can impart other qualities to the child than those of the family. However, the relations are by no means uncomplicated. It appears that school dovetails rather badly with both the parents' demands and the prerequisites for contemporary family life whereas daycare and leisure activities are fairly or quite compatible.

The conceptions of children and parenthood which appear in the study are about individualism, the primacy of emotions and a relative equality between the sexes and generations. In the conceptions of child-rearing the emphasis is on security, stimulation and versatility. The child should be treated with respect, both for what it is and what it can become, i.e. account is taken of its own nature as well as its prospects for the future. The parent should be sensitive, supportive and also (more or less) active or driving. This was interpreted as the families' pedagogical discourse, comprising with some variation both the middle-class and working-class families in the subject group.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 1997. , 330 p.
Akademiska avhandlingar vid Pedagogiska institutionen, Umeå universitet, ISSN 0281-6768 ; 43
Keyword [en]
family, child rearing, childhood, parenthood, day care, school, leisure, family life, change
National Category
Educational Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-16578ISBN: 91-7191-284-3OAI: diva2:156251
Available from: 2007-10-07 Created: 2007-10-07 Last updated: 2013-02-11Bibliographically approved

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