Parenting in Global Perspective: Negotiating Ideologies of Kinship, Self and Politics, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Parenting in Global Perspective

Negotiating Ideologies of Kinship, Self and Politics, 1st Edition

Edited by Charlotte Faircloth, Diane M. Hoffman, Linda L. Layne


18 pages

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Drawing on both sociological and anthropological perspectives, this volume explores cross-national trends and everyday experiences of ‘parenting’.

Parenting in Global Perspective examines the significance of ‘parenting’ as a subject of professional expertise, and activity in which adults are increasingly expected to be emotionally absorbed and become personally fulfilled. By focusing the significance of parenting as a form of relationship and as mediated by family relationships across time and space, the book explores the points of accommodation and points of tension between parenting as defined by professionals, and those experienced by parents themselves. Specific themes include:

  • the ways in which the moral context for parenting is negotiated and sustained
  • the structural constraints to ‘good’ parenting (particularly in cases of immigration or reproductive technologies)
  • the relationship between intimate family life and broader cultural trends, parenting culture, policy making and nationhood
  • parenting and/as adult ‘identity-work’.

Including contributions on parenting from a range of ethnographic locales – from Europe, Canada and the US, to non-Euro-American settings such as Turkey, Chile and Brazil, this volume presents a uniquely critical and international perspective, which positions parenting as a global ideology that intersects in a variety of ways with the political, social, cultural, and economic positions of parents and families.


'this book suggests an important consideration about the tensions recognizable in the contemporary era between what an intensive parenting culture prescribes (that means also to some extent what science experts say and suggest,) and what and how it is realistically possible in the capitalist neoliberal societies.'- Rosy Musumeci, University of Turin, Sociologica, February 2014

Table of Contents

Foreword Frank Furedi Introduction Charlotte Faircloth, Diane Hoffman and Linda Layne Part 1: The Moral Context for Parenting 1. ‘Where Are the Parents?’: Changing Parenting Responsibilities Between the 1960s and the 2010s Rosalind Edwards and Val Gillies 2. Building a Stable Environment in Scotland: Planning Parenthood in a Time of Ecological Crisis Katharine Dow 3. Creating Distinction: Middle-Class Viewers of Supernanny in the UK Tracey Jensen 4. Negotiating (Un)healthy Lifestyles in an Era of ‘Intensive’ Parenting: Ethnographic Case Studies from North West England, UK Denise Hinton, Louise Laverty and Jude Robinson Part 2: Power and Inequality: the Structural Constraints to ‘Good’ Parenting 5. Problem Parents? Undocumented Migrants in America’s New South and the Power Dynamics of Parenting Advice Nicole Berry 6. Nurturing Sudanese, Producing Americans: Refugee Parents and Personhood Anna Jaysane-Darr Part 3: Negotiating Parenting Culture 7. ‘Intensive Motherhood’ in Comparative Perspective: Feminism, Full-term Breastfeeding and Attachment Parenting in London and Paris Charlotte Faircloth 8. Intensive Mothering of Ethiopian Adoptive Children in Flanders, Belgium Katrien De Graeve and Chia Longman 9. ‘Staying With the Baby’: Intensive Mothering and Social Mobility in Santiago de Chile Marjorie Murray Part 4: Parenting and/as Identity 10. "Spanish People Don’t Know How to Rear their Children!" Dominican Women’s Resistance to Intensive Mothering in Madrid Livia Jiménez 11. Becoming a Mother Through Postpartum Depression: Narratives from Brazil Maureen O’Dougherty 12. Sacrificial Mothering of IVF-pursuing Mothers in Turkey A. Merve Göknar 13. Intensive Parenting Alone: Negotiating the Cultural Contradictions of Motherhood as a Single Mother by Choice Linda Layne 14. Power Struggles: The Paradoxes of Emotion and Control Among Child-Centred Mothers in Privileged America Diane Hoffman Afterword Ellie Lee

About the Editors

Charlotte Faircloth is a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow, based in the Centre for Parenting Culture Studies at the University of Kent, where her research explores parenting, gender, intimacy and equality. Based on her PhD in Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge, her book Militant Lactivism? was recently published by Berghahn Books.

Diane M. Hoffman is an Associate Professor of Anthropology of Education and International Comparative Education at the Curry School of Education, University of Virginia. She received her PhD from Stanford University and her MA and BA from Brown University. Her work is situated at the intersection of anthropological understandings of childhood, parenting and education.

Linda L. Layne is Hale Professor of Humanities and Social Sciences at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, currently on loan to the National Science Foundation as program officer for Science and Technology Studies. Her current research explores the management of absent presences in several alternative family forms: single mothers by choice, two-mum and two-dad families, as well as families who claim miscarried or stillborn babies as family members.

About the Series

Relationships and Resources

A key contemporary political and intellectual issue is the link between the relationships that people have and the resources to which they have access.  When people share a sense of identity, hold similar values, trust each other and reciprocally do things for each other, this has an impact on the social, political and economic cohesion of the society in which they live.  So, are changes in contemporary society leading to deterioration in the link between relationships and resources, or new and innovative forms of linking, or merely the reproduction of enduring inequalities? Consideration of relationships and resources raises key theoretical and empirical issues around change and continuity over time as well as time use, the consequences of globalisation and individualisation for intimate and broader social relations, and location and space in terms of communities and neighbourhoods.  The books in this series are concerned with elaborating these issues and form a body of work that will contribute to academic and political debate.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / Marriage & Family