Parenting cultures and risk management in plural Norway

Hilde Danielsen and Synnøve Bendixsen (Uni Rokkansenteret, Norway)
Centre for Parenting Culture Studies (International Partner)

This project is investigating the social and cultural processes that contribute in the making of parenting cultures and risk management in plural Norway today by providing an ethnographic fieldwork in a socially mixed borough of Bergen.

As a result of ongoing global, economic, social, cultural and political processes, new parenting norms, ideologies and practices are emerging. Migration and increased class differences bring along differentiations in access to resources and highlight the co-existence of different ideas of parenting in the same living place.

Governmental practices towards parents, however, may remain largely oriented towards white middle-class perceptions of the ‘good parent’. With a comparative approach this project aims to investigate how parenting cultures are formed by parents’ different ideas of how to be a ‘good parent’ and how such parenting cultures are formed in different institutional settings. Are different parents concerned with different risks?

Researchers from Cultural Studies and Social Anthropology are collaborating in this interdisciplinary project. Methods include structured and unstructured interviews, fieldwork and document analysis. The theoretical framework is defined by theories of risk society. The project focuses both on parents’ own understanding and construction of parenting cultures, and on how ideas and ideals of parenthood are constructed by governmental institutions and civil society in different settings.

The project consists of three work packages that are thoroughly interlinked:

  1. Parenting cultures in the family
  2. the interfaces of parenting cultures and civil society, and
  3. Parenting cultures in the welfare state.

The innovative aspects of this study prominently lie in its:

  • focus on parenting cultures as an expression of the driving forces in a risk society
  • comparative focus on parenting cultures, differentiated by class, migration background and gender
  • multilevel approach which includes public, semi-public and private societal arenas; and
  • interdisciplinary methodology and analysis with contributions from Cultural Studies and Social Anthropology.

Conference June 2016, Canterbury, UK

The Centre for Parenting Culture Studies is the International Partner for the project, and will be hosting a conference as part of the work in Canterbury, UK, In June 2016.
International conference June 2016

Kick-off event November 2014, Bergen, Norway

Kick-off event for Parenting cultures and risk management in plural Norway

More about the research and more about a project emerging as a result of the research here 

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