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Parenting in a globalised world Dr Charlotte Faircloth University Roehampton, London

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Presentation on theme: "Parenting in a globalised world Dr Charlotte Faircloth University Roehampton, London"— Presentation transcript:

1 Parenting in a globalised world Dr Charlotte Faircloth University Roehampton, London

2 Outline The specific construction of the child in the new parenting culture How this idea travels cross- culturally, in a globalised world

3 Imagining childhood ‘[A]s distinct from biological immaturity, is neither a natural nor universal feature of human groups but appears as a specific structural and cultural component of many societies’… In other words, though biological immaturity may be natural and universal, what particular societies make of such immaturity differs throughout time and between different cultures. So we say that it is socially constructed. (Hendrick, 1997, p.9-10) On the one hand, there is an increasing tendency to see children as individuals with a capacity for self-realisation and, within the limits of social interdependency, autonomous action; on the other, there are practices directed at a greater surveillance, control and regulation of children. (Prout, 2000, p.304)

4 The child ‘at risk’ 1) The child is set apart as different from adults (see also Elias 1998); 2) The child is said to have a special nature, and be associated with nature; 3) The child is innocent, but corruptible; 4) Today, the child is vulnerable and ‘at risk’ (Cunningham 2006) What is believed to be essential for mental health is that the infant and young child should experience a warm, intimate and continuous relationship with his mother (or permanent mother-substitute) in which both find satisfaction and enjoyment… A state of affairs in which the child does not have this relationship is termed ‘maternal deprivation’. (Bowlby, 1995 [1952])

5 Cross-cultural perspectives Intensive parenting as an important ‘cultural script’ A global perspective: parenting as a globalizing set of ideas and practices that cannot be separated from considerations of global power inequities This reveals assumptions and tensions within parenting that enhance our practical and theoretical understanding of the phenomenon.

6 Part I: The moral context for parenting 1. ‘Where are the parents?’: Changing parenting responsibilities between the 1960s and the 2010s Rosalind Edwards and Val Gillies 2. Building a Stable Environment in Scotland: Planning Parenthood in a Time of Ecological Crisis Katharine Dow 3. Creating Distinction: Middle-Class Viewers of Supernanny in the UK Tracey Jensen

7 Part II Power and inequality: the structural constraints to ‘good’ parenting 4. Negotiating (Un)healthy Lifestyles in an Era of ‘Intensive’ Parenting: Ethnographic case studies from North West England, UK. Denise Hinton, Louise Laverty and Jude Robinson 5. Problem Parents? Undocumented Migrants in America’s New South and the Power Dynamics of Parenting Advice Nicole Berry 6. Nurturing Sudanese, Producing Americans: Refugee Parents and Personhood Anna Jaysane-Darr

8 Part III Negotiating Parenting Culture 7.‘Intensive motherhood’ in comparative perspective: Feminism, full- term breastfeeding and attachment parenting in London and Paris Charlotte Faircloth 8. Intensive Mothering of Ethiopian Adoptive Children in Flanders, Belgium Katrien De Graeve and Chia Longman 9. ‘Staying with the baby’: intensive mothering and social mobility in Santiago de Chile Marjorie Murray

9 Part IV Parenting and/as identity 10. “Spanish people don´t know how to rear their children!” Dominican women’s resistance to intensive mothering in Madrid Livia Jiménez 11. Becoming a mother through postpartum depression: Narratives from Brazil Maureen O’Dougherty 12. Sacrificial Mothering of IVF-pursuing Mothers in Turkey A.Merve Göknar 13. Intensive Parenting Alone: Negotiating the Cultural Contradictions of Motherhood as a Single Mother by Choice Linda Layne 14. Power Struggles: The Paradoxes of Emotion and Control Among Child- Centred Mothers in Privileged America Diane Hoffman

10 Conclusions The papers show how parenting maps onto different societal and cultural contexts, sometimes generating resistances and sometimes building on pre- existing indigenous notions of mothering (such as sacrificial mothering) to create hybrid ideologies. They present a diverse and deepened view of pedagogy in relation to parenting. They deepen our understanding of how parenting—even when ostensibly child- centered—is also just as importantly about parental identities. They highlight the politics of parenting in transnational spaces. In drawing attention to the multiple meanings of parenting in complex societies, then, this kind of work has articulated the need for a closer and more refined inquiry into a set of cultural practices and ideologies central to the emergence and maintenance of communities, societies, and nations. Parents attend a workshop in healthy lifestyles at the Miami-Dade Parent Academy, TIME 2009

11 Future directions? The globalization of intensive parenting. Is risk conscious-parenting an increasingly globalized phenomenon? How do parenting norms characteristic of intensive parenting diffuse between countries? What does comparative research reveal about any limits to the development of intensive parenting culture? Differentiation, parenting policy and parenting experts. How do policy frames, and parenting education and training interventions (in the form of text or expert and professional practices) intersect with class, gender and migration background? The lived experience of intensive parenting. How does risk-consciousness operate differentially as parents ‘parent’? What makes some parents resist dominant parenting norms? To what extent is intensive parenting democratised?


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