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"Det sitter i ryggraden": om föräldrars föreställningar och kroppens tidiga socialisering
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
2001 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
"It just comes naturally" : Parental ideas and the early socialization of the body (English)
Abstract [en]

The aim of the study is to show how a physiological function such as sleep becomes an important part of socialization and upbringing. Babies’ and toddlers’ sleep patterns present an opportunity to study how sleep habits are developed, practised and reproduced according to what parents find meaningful, correct and appropriate. The central question is to investigate parents’ notions about children and how these ideas are embodied in habits at an early age.

This study can be seen as a part of the research on everyday life and family practices. The theoretical framework is built mainly on Pierre Bourdieu’s concept of habitus and Norbert Elias’ concept of the civilized body. The data were collected through interviews with upper middle class families in Stockholm. Eight sets of parents are first-time parents, six have two children and one has three children. The three interviews with the participants followed the ’everyday-life interview’ principles, i.e., they talked about their experiences with their children yesterday and last week. The first interview was conducted when the child was 2-3 months old, the second when the child was 6-9 months old and the third when the child was 12-16 months old.

The analysis of the data is presented in four chapters. Among the findings, the interviews showed that time has a qualitative aspect for families with babies and toddlers. Time is spent into activities outside the home. These activities are important for the reproduction of social status.

The reproduction of habitus can be traced in the process of developing sleep routines and disciplining the body. The idea of the separateness of the body and the individual as well as the notion of the secure child can be seen as part of the symbolic capital that parents pass on to their children. The class distinction of the families in relation to children and childcare is expressed by talking about what is ’natural’.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Pedagogiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet , 2001. , 232 p.
Doktorsavhandlingar från Pedagogiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet, ISSN 1104-1625 ; 103
Keyword [en]
children, families, sleep, class, body, habitus
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-76790ISBN: 91-7265-279-9OAI: diva2:527069
Public defence
2001-06-07, hörsal 7, hus D, Södra huset, Frescati, Stockholm, 13:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2012-05-16 Created: 2012-05-16 Last updated: 2012-05-16Bibliographically approved

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