Qualitative Studies https://tidsskrift.dk/qual <p>QS is an interdisciplinary journal that focusses on qualitative methods and their application within the humanities and social sciences. We welcome experimental and unorthodox manuscripts pertaining to the thematic calls. </p> Aalborg Universitet en-US Qualitative Studies 1903-7031 <p><span style="color: black;">Copyright belongs to the author and&nbsp;</span><span style="color: black;"><em>Qualitative Studies</em></span></p> The Politics of Parenting https://tidsskrift.dk/qual/article/view/140957 Susanne Bregnbæk Noomi Matthiesen Anja Marschall Copyright (c) 2023 2023-09-22 2023-09-22 8 2 1 8 10.7146/qs.v8i2.140957 Parents as learning facilitators https://tidsskrift.dk/qual/article/view/140958 <p>This paper examines the implications of various learning-centred initiatives for the relationship between early childhood education and care (ECEC) institutions and families in Denmark. Since the 1990s, promoting early learning has been a key objective for Danish ECEC institutions, reshaping the Danish social pedagogy tradition. Recently, early learning initiatives have become part of the collaboration with parents on so-called home learning. Based on ethnographic studies of such collaboration, I argue that the expansion of dominant early learning agendas from ECEC to families results in an institutionalisation of parenthood. The analysis shows that parents are expected to embrace a learning agenda promoted by ECEC professionals. They are appointed as learning facilitators who must strive to support early learning at home and improve their parenting skills. Furthermore, parents’ engagement in early learning is intertwined with the practical organisation of family life and with ideals of a good family and a good childhood.</p> Karen Ida Dannesboe Copyright (c) 2023 2023-09-22 2023-09-22 8 2 9 30 10.7146/qs.v8i2.140958 Instilling Care https://tidsskrift.dk/qual/article/view/140959 <p>This paper explores the concept of care as a socialisation goal for school-age children among contemporary Chinese parents. Data was generated from interviews with parents from rural and urban families in Nanjing, China in 2011– 2012. Parents’ spontaneous remarks on care revealed how today’s Chinese parents highlighted childcare as parental responsibilities, cultivated children’s self-care skills, and promoted children’s other-caring qualities. In so doing, parents attempted to motivate concurrent and future elder care, improve children’s social competence, and inspire altruistic other-care in their children. Although Chinese parents’ imagination of care is largely centralised within the family due to sociocultural contexts such as the culture of intensive parenthood, China’s care deficiency in a neoliberal economy, and the One-Child Policy, Chinese parents also aspired instilling other-caring qualities in their children.</p> Li Xuan Copyright (c) 2023 2023-09-22 2023-09-22 8 2 31 54 10.7146/qs.v8i2.140959 Supportive or overpowering? https://tidsskrift.dk/qual/article/view/140960 <p>This article explores high parental involvement in students’ lives during and after higher education. While many higher education students lack parental support, from advice to resources, there are also experiences on the other side of the spectrum. Students and graduates may feel fated to certain trajectories whether through parental authoritarianism or more subtle compliance and inter-generational reciprocity. This article draws from 18 months of ethnographic research with 30 students and graduates from a high-profile university in New York City. The methodological focus entailed repeat interviews with individuals, talking about their lives, aspirations, studies, and their relationships with people and places. The article discusses intra-familial negotiation over subject and career choices and by association, over agency and the future of young adults. Cultural, classed, and psychological interpretations all indicate the uncertain boundaries between human beings as young people contest and absorb the influence of their parents.</p> John Loewenthal Copyright (c) 2023 2023-09-22 2023-09-22 8 2 55 78 10.7146/qs.v8i2.140960 Just Merit? https://tidsskrift.dk/qual/article/view/140961 <p>The radical transformation of Chinese society in the previous decades has greatly improved the material lives of most people, but has also led to skyrocketing levels of inequality, and has subjected Chinese youths to unprecedented levels of socio-economic competition. Helping them to succeed in this competitive world necessitates both care and control from their families. This is evident in their scholarly education, but also in the pressure they receive to marry early and well. Both the pressure on their education and on their path towards marriage is imposed on them in the name of support. While many analyses of this situation tie it predominantly to a Confucian ethos imbued into Chinese culture, this article suggests an alternative way to analyze this situation: The revolutionary opposition to inherited privilege paradoxically transformed higher education and marriage into ultra-competitive open markets. Rather than imputing a culturally bounded explanation for this phenomenon, I maintain that the authoritarian-caring parenting style observable in present-day China reflects a situation which finds parallels in other late post-revolutionary societies: the intensification of the educational pressure put on the haves in order to distinguish themselves from the have-nots.</p> Jean-Baptiste Pettier Copyright (c) 2023 2023-09-22 2023-09-22 8 2 79 100 10.7146/qs.v8i2.140961 Shadow categorizations https://tidsskrift.dk/qual/article/view/140962 <p>Drawing on analyses of how, during the 20th century, explicit processes of social distinction morphed into languages of niceness and, further, into various categories of pathology (Löfgren, 1991; Conrad, 2007; Horwitz, 2002; Brinkmann, 2014), I explore some of the contemporary consequences of this transformation in a Danish context. Focusing on everyday experiences of parents of children with so-called special needs, I highlight their concerns and hopes, analysing what happens when they encounter those who work in welfare state institutions. Inspired by anthropology of policy (Wright, 2017), I view these parents’ actions, efforts, and negotiations as a form of micro-policymaking, with an analytical emphasis on what Mattingly (2013) describes as everyday ethical work. Interactions with welfare state professionals such as early childhood educators and schoolteachers are part and parcel of parenting, especially in a Nordic context. In this ethical work, the parents face different gaps they need to handle.</p> Bjørg Kjær Copyright (c) 2023 2023-09-22 2023-09-22 8 2 101 121 10.7146/qs.v8i2.140962 Genetic determinism https://tidsskrift.dk/qual/article/view/140963 <p>Based on fieldwork in families and a mainstream kindergarten in Denmark, this article discusses how children who are viewed as special and at risk are subjected in new ways to “concerted cultivation” between childhood professionals and parents. The article identifies two forms of parental determinism that are associated with two different views of the good parent: On the one hand, psychologically inspired parental determinism focusing on what parents do; on the other, genetic determinism focusing on who parents are biologically. Genetic determinism dominates the empirical material, suggesting an increasing influence from psychiatry in how parents understand children’s development. This implies that the natural and the cultural interact in new ways and transforms the collaboration between parents and professionals, creating new expectations on both sides. As a result, parenting at-risk children is characterized by less trust in intuition and a greater need for guidance in order to accommodate the child’s special nature.</p> Dil Bach Copyright (c) 2023 2023-09-22 2023-09-22 8 2 122 144 10.7146/qs.v8i2.140963 Parenting in the Courtyard https://tidsskrift.dk/qual/article/view/140964 <p>This article investigates the challenges faced by parents raising children in stigmatised neighbourhoods based on eight-month ethnographic fieldwork. By exploring parenting practices within the public spaces of local communities, the study reveals the intricate interplay between moral considerations, daily practices, and social interactions. It demonstrates the association between parenting practices and not only the parents’ social status and belonging but also the perceived respectability of the neighbourhood. Examining parents' efforts to ensure their children's safety and foster their independence, this study uncovers the diverse norms that shape parents' agency and community integration. Thereby, it highlights the tensions parents face in maintaining the community's social respectability while challenging prevailing notions of territorial determinism. These insights contribute to a deeper understanding of the complexities surrounding parenting in stigmatised neighbourhoods, emphasising the need for contextualised approaches to understanding the social dynamics and morality of parenting in these communities.</p> Asger Martiny-Bruun Copyright (c) 2023 2023-09-22 2023-09-22 8 2 145 167 10.7146/qs.v8i2.140964 Parents as both problem and resource https://tidsskrift.dk/qual/article/view/140965 <p>This article addresses the question of how the parenting role has become an issue in relation to the contemporary politics of marginalized residential areas in Denmark. Drawing on the empirical and analytic categories of 'good' and 'bad' parenting, we explore how parenting skills and parental responsibility are central to problem solving and finding solutions for the area. We explore this to achieve a more critical approach to understanding how different discourses of integration and marginalized residential areas, create categories of ‘parenting’. The analysis shows how policies have different kinds of impact on parents in the neighbourhood, and how discourses on parenting vary across the empirical material including governmental strategies, social master plans, and interviews. Despite, in political terms, being regarded as part of the problem, the parents themselves shape their child</p> Vibe Larsen Üzeyir Tireli Ditte Tofteng Mette Marie Høy-Hansen Copyright (c) 2023 2023-09-22 2023-09-22 8 2 168 193 10.7146/qs.v8i2.140965