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Parenting as a performance: parents as consumers and (de)constructors of mythic parenting and childhood ideals

Freya Geinger (UGent) , Michel Vandenbroeck (UGent) and Griet Roets (UGent)
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Abstract
The existing critical literature on constructions of childhood and parenthood is only beginning to listen to what parents have to say. As a result, parents may paradoxically be viewed as passive victims and therefore reduced to be the spectators of what is supposed to be their ‘problem’. The present study analyses dominant parent advice texts in the Flemish community of Belgium, as well as the voices of parents on the Internet. The study confirms the tendencies noticed in critical literature: the tendency to individualize responsibilities and the focus on autonomy in the neoliberal era. In addition it unveils the double bind nature of autonomy in expert discourse. It also illustrates the performative agency of parents, as co-constructors of dominant discourse as well as contesting this discourse. In so doing, the study complements the existing vein of literature with the way in which parents think of and experience the dominant parenting discourse.
Keywords
SERVICES, SUPPORT, CHILDREN, CONTEXT, MOTHER, AGENCY, POLICY, Agency, childrearing, discourse, Internet, parenthood, performance

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MLA
Geinger, Freya, Michel Vandenbroeck, and Griet Roets. “Parenting as a Performance: Parents as Consumers and (de)constructors of Mythic Parenting and Childhood Ideals.” CHILDHOOD-A GLOBAL JOURNAL OF CHILD RESEARCH 21.4 (2014): 488–501. Print.
APA
Geinger, F., Vandenbroeck, M., & Roets, G. (2014). Parenting as a performance: parents as consumers and (de)constructors of mythic parenting and childhood ideals. CHILDHOOD-A GLOBAL JOURNAL OF CHILD RESEARCH, 21(4), 488–501.
Chicago author-date
Geinger, Freya, Michel Vandenbroeck, and Griet Roets. 2014. “Parenting as a Performance: Parents as Consumers and (de)constructors of Mythic Parenting and Childhood Ideals.” Childhood-a Global Journal of Child Research 21 (4): 488–501.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Geinger, Freya, Michel Vandenbroeck, and Griet Roets. 2014. “Parenting as a Performance: Parents as Consumers and (de)constructors of Mythic Parenting and Childhood Ideals.” Childhood-a Global Journal of Child Research 21 (4): 488–501.
Vancouver
1.
Geinger F, Vandenbroeck M, Roets G. Parenting as a performance: parents as consumers and (de)constructors of mythic parenting and childhood ideals. CHILDHOOD-A GLOBAL JOURNAL OF CHILD RESEARCH. 2014;21(4):488–501.
IEEE
[1]
F. Geinger, M. Vandenbroeck, and G. Roets, “Parenting as a performance: parents as consumers and (de)constructors of mythic parenting and childhood ideals,” CHILDHOOD-A GLOBAL JOURNAL OF CHILD RESEARCH, vol. 21, no. 4, pp. 488–501, 2014.
@article{4105440,
  abstract     = {The existing critical literature on constructions of childhood and parenthood is only beginning to listen to what parents have to say. As a result, parents may paradoxically be viewed as passive victims and therefore reduced to be the spectators of what is supposed to be their ‘problem’. The present study analyses dominant parent advice texts in the Flemish community of Belgium, as well as the voices of parents on the Internet. The study confirms the tendencies noticed in critical literature: the tendency to individualize responsibilities and the focus on autonomy in the neoliberal era. In addition it unveils the double bind nature of autonomy in expert discourse. It also illustrates the performative agency of parents, as co-constructors of dominant discourse as well as contesting this discourse. In so doing, the study complements the existing vein of literature with the way in which parents think of and experience the dominant parenting discourse.},
  author       = {Geinger, Freya and Vandenbroeck, Michel and Roets, Griet},
  issn         = {0907-5682},
  journal      = {CHILDHOOD-A GLOBAL JOURNAL OF CHILD RESEARCH},
  keywords     = {SERVICES,SUPPORT,CHILDREN,CONTEXT,MOTHER,AGENCY,POLICY,Agency,childrearing,discourse,Internet,parenthood,performance},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {488--501},
  title        = {Parenting as a performance: parents as consumers and (de)constructors of mythic parenting and childhood ideals},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0907568213496657},
  volume       = {21},
  year         = {2014},
}

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