Reference : Parents in the Spotlight. Parenting Practices and Support from a Comparative Perspective
Books : Collective work published as editor or director
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Sociology & social sciences
Educational Sciences
Parents in the Spotlight. Parenting Practices and Support from a Comparative Perspective
Betz, Tanja mailto [Goethe University Frankfurt am Main]
Honig, Michael-Sebastian mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Integrative Research Unit: Social and Individual Development (INSIDE) >]
Ostner, Ilona mailto [University of Göttingen]
Verlag Barbara Budrich
Journal of Family Research / Zeitschrift für Familienforschung, Special Issue 11
Leverkusen Opladen
[en] Parenting ; Social Policy ; Comparison
[en] Children and their parents have become a focal point of debates on ‘new social risks’ and the strong need for ‘new public policies’ in many European welfare states. Policy-related elites, along with UNICEF, the OECD, and the EU, have converged in defining such risks. They outlined parenting support measures, rules, and procedures to better safeguard children and to activate their potential, promote their well-being, and ensure equal opportunities. Parents are expected to offer their children ‘grade A’ parenting. However, they are increasingly suspected of failing to meet public expectations. Hence, agencies advocating children’s best interest are intervening in parenting practices at an increasingly earlier age on the grounds of potential risks. The boundaries between what has been seen as ‘family’ or ‘private’ versus ‘public affairs’ are being redrawn by discourses as well as by ‘evidence-based’ measures to intervene and tackle child-related risks.
Contributors to this special issue from Belgium, England, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden are scrutinizing this ‘turn to parenting’. They analyse which parenting practices are now ‘in the spotlight’ and report on recent forms of support for parents. Whereas debates on ‘new risks’ and the need for ‘child-centred social investments’ have converged, parenting support measures still vary across countries both quantitatively and qualitatively. Such variations result from path-dependent institutional settings, public sentiments, and policy ‘cultures’. This issue offers an excellent opportunity to study parenting support policies in countries representing different ‘worlds’ of family policy. It highlights different ideas on the child’s proper status in society and on good parenting along with variations in the influence of experts on parenting and practitioners’ attitudes towards it – especially the parenting practiced by mothers from different backgrounds.
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