Föräldraidentiteter i livsberättelser.

Karlsson, M.
-Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis-


The overall objective of this dissertation is to gain more knowledge about the relationship parents have to daycare centres by analysing the life stories of parents.   The dissertation asks three questions: 1) What parent identities stand out in the parents’ stories about their contact with, and relations with, the daycare centre and staff?   2) How do different constellations of the daycare centre, staff, other parents, children and childhood lay the foundation for these parent identities? 3) How do these parent identities contribute to understanding the relationships between parents and the daycare centre as part of socially and culturally situated and structured societal processes?


Overall, the study concludes that the relationship between parents and the daycare centre should be understood dynamically, i.e. when society changes, the relationship between parents and the daycare centre will also change. The dominant discourses at daycare centres today are 1. amateur-expert, where daycare staff are regarded as being experts and parents as being amateurs; 2. cooperating parties, where the parents and the staff are seen as being equal (but are criticised for neglecting power structures) and; 3. supplier-consumer, where daycare centres are regarded in the context of a consumption discourse in which the parents are conscious consumers. The results from the interviews show that the dominant discourses in the relationship between parents and daycare centres have a tendency to construct parents as a homogeneous group and thus conceal differences such as gender, social class, ethnicity and age. Thus the different constructions of child and childhood, relevant structures and the influence of these on the relationship between parents and the daycare centre remain concealed. Ultimately, this means that it is not clear that child carers and parents share a responsibility in relation to the institutionalisation of childhood.


Taking the thematic life story interview as the point of departure, six parents were interviewed. These life stories were analysed on the basis of discourses about the relationship between parents and the daycare centre.


Karlsson, M. (2006). Föräldraidentiteter i livsberättelser. Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis.

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