Accepted paper:

Notions of relatedness and processes of kinning in Danish childcare institutions: exploring the interface between the state and the family

Authors:

Karen Fog Olwig (University of Copenhagen)
Helle Bundgaard (University of Copenhagen)

Paper short abstract:

This paper explores children's varying experiences of kinning in the intersection between parents' and public childcare institutions' notions and practices of childcare and the implications of the children's experiences for their development of a place of belonging in society.

Paper long abstract:

Since the last decades of the 20th century the care of young children in Scandinavia, formerly the primary responsibility of the family, has become the joint task of public day care institutions and parents. Inspired by anthropological theory emphasizing the significance of care relations for the development of notions of relatedness and belonging, this paper explores the kinning processes that take place in the intersection between, on the one hand, public institutions providing childcare according to Danish state regulations and pedagogical principles and, on the other hand, the parents who are responsible for rearing the children. On the basis of ethnographic research on Danish childcare institutions, the paper shows that, concerning notions and practices of childcare and parent involvement in the institutional care of their children, there is generally close agreement between the mutual expectations held by pedagogues in the childcare institutions and ethnically Danish middle class parents. By contrast, a number of differences and uncertainties may obtain between the pedagogues and parents of lower class or ethnic minority background. As a result, kinning processes among the children of the first group are generally supported by the day care experience, whereas the kinning processes that take place among the children of the latter group are often drawn into question. These varying experiences of kinning in relation to day care, we suggest, have important implications for the children's development of a place of belonging in society.

panel P054
Kinning the state - state kinning: reconnecting the anthropology of kinship and political anthropology