Att välja sig själv och sitt barn - En senmodernistisk analys av föräldraskapet

Detta är en Kandidat-uppsats från Malmö universitet/Fakulteten för hälsa och samhälle (HS)

Sammanfattning: Parenting is as old as mankind and all people relate to it in one way or another. It is widely portrayed in a variety of media, from popular culture to scientific texts. The purpose of this bachelor thesis is to investigate parenting, based on how it is constructed and legitimized in two popular science books for parents. In doing so, the study aims to create a wider understanding of contemporary ideas and ideals about parenting. The material used consist of two popular science books about parenting, chosen for their popularity, scientific knowledge claim and that they are aimed both at parents and professionals. The first book is Vad alla föräldrar borde få veta (2019) by Swedish authors Kajsa Lönn Rhodin and Maria Lalouni and the second one is Förstå ditt barns hjärna (2019) by American authors Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson. The material has been analyzed through qualitative content analysis and within a framework of late modern theory, based on the work of sociologists Anthony Giddens, Ulrich Beck and Elizabeth Beck-Gernsheim. The study finds that the parenting ideals presented in the books are highly characterized by individualization. It finds that parenting is constructed in relation to different risks, consisting of mental and physical illness in the child's adult life. The parenting ideal is legitimized by being presented as a protection against these risks. To succeed with parenthood, certain competences appear as desirable. These consist of different psychological methods, usually reserved for professionals, as well as techniques for talking to children, which the parents are encouraged to learn. This requires a lot of self-regulation and self-awareness from the parent. One of the most important tasks that parenting aims for is creating a child fit for the demanding life of modern society. The parent is portrayed as a social engineer with the ability to promote what appears to be important personality traits, such as being self-reflexive, autonomous and constantly striving to develop. The study also finds that the relationship between the parent and the child builds on the idea of the pure relationship, which is based on love and democracy. Through understanding of human evolution and biology, the parent is expected to interpret and if necessary counteract, impulses that are not desirable in a modern society. Throughout the books, the authors construct middle class families as the norm and are in lack of a structural perspective. This results in responsibility being put solely on the parent.

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