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Accepted Paper:

The morality of knowledge claims: negotiating motherhood and expertise in discussions on ADHD  
Hedwig te Molder (University of Twente) Wytske Versteeg (University of Twente)

Paper short abstract:

This paper focuses on the hidden morality of knowledge claims in radio phone-ins on ADHD. It shows how parents of children with ADHD, refrain from providing details of their children's problematic behaviour in order to build their child's condition as 'doctorable' instead of being 'mere naughtiness'.

Paper long abstract:

This paper uses Conversation Analysis and Discursive Psychology to add a new dimension to the discussion in STS on normativity-in-the-making. CA and DP reveal the routinely implicit orientation to what is normal and proper by studying talk and bodily conduct in natural interactions which are not brought about by a researcher. The current paper focuses on the morality of knowledge claims in British radio phone-ins on ADHD. We show how mothers typically claim knowledge about their children's good intentions but not regarding the 'ADHD-ness' of their children's problematic behaviour. By only claiming the knowledge appropriate for a concerned parent, callers treat their children's behaviour as a matter of expert knowledge and therefore as 'doctorable'. We argue that every detailed description of the child's problematic behaviour by the mother makes it inadvertently available to other lay contestants, and thus vulnerable to being formulated as 'normal disobedience'. Implicitly present in what seems a struggle about the nature of ADHD is the moral question as to how 'the good mother' should know her child. A good mother is expected to show a certain amount of knowledge about her child (enough to know that something is wrong), but in order to claim that the troubling behaviour is symptomatic of the doctorable condition ADHD, she has to refrain from the kind of knowledge about her child that would be an expert's prerogative. It is suggested that STS should pay more attention to the ways in which participants negotiate their epistemic-moral territories in real-life situations.

Panel T049
STS and normativity: analyzing and enacting values
  Session 1 Friday 2 September, 2016, -