Expressions of Parenthood and Childhood

Institutions, representations, experience

In this section, the question of childhood and parenthood was explored in terms of normative frames and the subjective approach to personal experience. The representations people have of individuals (children, parental frames of reference) and of family relations were studied for the purpose of identifying the normative injunctions around parenting and childhood.

 Norms and representations. Attention here was on what figures of “the child” and “parents” are socially and culturally constructed by the population under study. A set of 39 tales about childhood and parenthood drawn from the body of tales recounted on a local radio station has been compiled, transcribed and translated for the purpose of studying parent-child relations and the function of child-raising as represented in literary expression.

 Expectations about parenthood and experiences of parenting. How do individuals see their own lives? What works to validate relations constructed around childhood and parenthood, and on what points may there be contestation and redefinition? A set of qualitative interviews with 60 men and women of different generations were used to examine what individuals say about their own childhood experience of family relations and to assessed whether new expectations with regard to parental frames of reference are emerging.

  • Storyteller, Photo Cécile Leguy