Parenting in the gaze of institutions - and what individuals do about it. Insights and reflections from fieldwork in Northern Norway.
(UiT the Arctic University of Norway)
Paper short abstract:
In my paper, I explore different aspects of interactions between parents with different backgrounds living in Norway and public employees working with family assistance, focusing on public and institutional discourses as well as individual spaces for action.
Paper long abstract:
In my paper, I explore different aspects of interactions between parents with different backgrounds living in Norway and public employees working with family assistance. In my ongoing fieldwork, I am investigating what values about child-rearing employees at public institutions such as health centres communicate to parents with refugee/immigrant and Norwegian background, how parents communicate their ideals and what discoursive repertoires the involved actors use to engage with and negotiate differences and disagreements. Furthermore, I discuss what role ideas of 'the other', both based on discourses and personal experience, play in these interactions,. Here, tensions such as public controversies around the Norwegian Child Protections Agency (barnevern) and a growing acceptance in public debate to view 'immigrants' as people who should 'adapt to Norwegian norms or leave' (cf. Gullestad, 2002: 30-31; 100-102) are important contextual factors. Two dimensions that I have so far discovered, are an idea of public employees as much appreciated helping experts, vs. an idea of them as interfering with the private sphere. The latter can more symbolically speaking also refer to discourses where the state is seen as imposing 'its' values on people. In this context of distrust, I explore trust-building as well as local and personal ideas of filling the role of public employee. Reference: Gullestad, M., 2002. Det norske sett med nye øyne. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget.
Pedagogies on the move: parenting interventions in transcultural and minoritarian contexts