Parental self-work: governing enactments in family life
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionEuropean Journal for Research on the Education and Learning of Adults. 2014, 5 (1), 67-80. 10.3384/rela.2000-7426.rela9025
Discourses on lifelong and lifewide learning portray everyday life as a pedagogical space where requirements for how to preferably improve oneself through learning are highly significant. Drawing upon the notion of governmentality, it could be argued that techniques operate within a range of practices to shape, foster and stabilize the assumed adequate ways to perform. Using that particular lens, the case of parenting was investigated to accentuate selves and self-work in narrations on family life in Norway. The analysis illustrates how the techniques of activation and comparison are at work to define, fashion and develop the responsible, involved and attentive parental self, thereby signifying pedagogical claims one should aspire to. However, how this is accomplished differs slightly within the social contexts of family life. Parenting, then, may be discussed as a powerful educative practice for fabricating capable and wellbehaved citizens of contemporary times.