Raising Decent Citizens—On Respectability, Parenthood and Drawing Boundaries

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Berg , P & Peltola , M 2015 , ' Raising Decent Citizens—On Respectability, Parenthood and Drawing Boundaries ' , Nora : Nordic journal of feminist and gender research , vol. 23 , no. 1 , pp. 36-51 . https://doi.org/10.1080/08038740.2014.938116

Title: Raising Decent Citizens—On Respectability, Parenthood and Drawing Boundaries
Author: Berg, Päivi; Peltola, Marja
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Department of Social Research (2010-2017)
Date: 2015
Language: eng
Number of pages: 16
Belongs to series: Nora : Nordic journal of feminist and gender research
ISSN: 0803-8740
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/313641
Abstract: Parenthood is a normatively regulated category with distinctly loaded moral expectations about “good parenting”. These normative expectations are lived through the body in gendered, classed, and ethnicized ways. We examine the ways in which parents representing majority and minority ethnic backgrounds construct an image of themselves as respectable parents, a construct that is intertwined with the idea of decent citizenship. The parents drew on middle-class, professional, and familist discourses on assertive parenthood, characterized by close scrutiny of their children's activities and friends, and the clear boundaries imposed on them together with democratic, dialogical relationships with them, as the preferred way of parenting. Describing one's own parenthood as respectable included an implicit or explicit definition of “Others”, who were less respectable as parents in ways that carried gendered, ethnicized, and classed meanings. The qualities required of “a respectable parent”, besides physical and material characteristics, were also connected with the idea of “inner fitness” in the form of the right kind of moral values.
Subject: 516 Educational sciences
parenting
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