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Wed 18 March
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Thu 19 March
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Fri 20 March
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Sat 21 March
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Wednesday 18 March 2020 16.30 - 18.30
F-4 EDU05 Civilizing Children in Play and Parenting. Affects and Materiality during the Years of the Cold War
P.N. van Eyckhof 3, 002
Network: Education and Childhood Chairs: -
Organizers: Ning de Coninck-Smith, Ellen Schrumpf Discussants: -
Deniz Arzuk : Acceptable Loss? Discourses on the Disappearance of Childhood in the 1980s and 1990s
In the last quarter of the 20th Century, the disappearance of childhood “as we know it” had been a recurring theme in several articles published in popular Turkish and British national newspapers. These pieces defined an appropriate and idealised version of childhood, which was feared to had been lost. Based ... (Show more)
In the last quarter of the 20th Century, the disappearance of childhood “as we know it” had been a recurring theme in several articles published in popular Turkish and British national newspapers. These pieces defined an appropriate and idealised version of childhood, which was feared to had been lost. Based on a comparative reading of these articles, this paper will raise several questions about the changing conceptualisations of childhood in this period. The paper is the first output of the European Commission funded MSCA project CHIBRIT “Is There No Such Thing As Childhood? New Childhoods in Britain and Turkey between 1976 and 1997.” (Show less)

Ning de Coninck-Smith, Ellen Schrumpf : Civilizing Children in Play and Parenting. Affects and Materiality during the Years of the Cold War
Civilizing children in play and parenting. Affects and materiality during the years of the Cold War.
Two connecting papers by Ning de Coninck-Smith and Ellen Schrumpf

University of South-Eastern Norway
University of Aarhus

During the last Century, the Western child has been brought up to become an individualized, democratic welfare state citizen, and ... (Show more)
Civilizing children in play and parenting. Affects and materiality during the years of the Cold War.
Two connecting papers by Ning de Coninck-Smith and Ellen Schrumpf

University of South-Eastern Norway
University of Aarhus

During the last Century, the Western child has been brought up to become an individualized, democratic welfare state citizen, and childhood as well as children have moved to the center of public and private attention (Aries 1980, Heywood 1995, Schrumpf 2007, Sandin 1986, de Coninck-Smith, 2018) In this paper, we focus on two power- full phenomenon and institutions, which have had major influence on children’s upbringing, namely play and parenthood. According to shifting ideologies, values and perspectives of the ideal childhood the paper analyzes the relationship between play, parenting and education and how children was educated emotionally - from within – and materially in play and playgrounds - from without (Frykman og Löfgren 1994, Zelizer 1994).
In this paper, education is understood in its broadest sense, covering the civilization of children’s bodies, spaces, time and souls. (Elias 1994) We aim to elaborate two different approaches to education in play/playground and parenthood/parenting, namely the affective and material approach. The purpose of the paper is to answer the following questions:
How have children been educated within the frames of parenthood and play/playgrounds in a context of changing emotional and material values and discourses? Do the two different settings mirror or differ from each other, could there be different understanding of the world of boys and girls, poor and middle class children?
Taking the years around WW2 as our point of departure, we want to inscribe parenting and play into the wider changes of childhood at a time, when religious and medical ideals were replaced with democratic and liberal ideals. During the years of the cold war, children were educated into the Nordic welfare state? and to a growing degree consumer society. Despite Nordic childhood is frequently seen as something special, the paper argues, that Nordic childhood underwent a process of Americanization due to a growing knowledge and awareness of US developmental psychology, suburban development and way of life. This meant between many thing, that children’s rooms became a new norm, that boys and girls should no longer sleep together, that little children should no longer vegetate in their cots, and that the playful child replaced former times industrious children.
The ideas were not applicated 1:1, they were discussed and translated though meetings, conferences, journals and personal networks. A case in point were the relations between the Norwegian psychologist Asa Gruda Skard, the Swedish reformer Alva Myrdal and the Danish school psychologist Anne Marie Nørvig. They translated each other’s books, cited them in their own works and invited each other to give talks. It was knowledge circulation for the sake of the child and its parents.
In our two cases, we will look for, how the new ideas about a democratic, liberal and consuming childhood were played out in parental advice books, practiced in parenting and in the designing of playing spaces. Taking our examples from Norway and Danmark opens up an opportunity to discuss path dependency within ideas about how to raise children, since Norway being a later urbanized and modernized country than Denmark e.g. ( Andresen et al., 2011) We are curious to know, if the debate about pocket money played out differently in the two countries – as well as the amount of toys, children ‘should’ have. We would also like to know, what happened to the 19th century view of the family as an intimate and quasi-sacred space, and as a heaven of sincere affection and authentic feeling (Frevert 2011), when mothers entered the labor force.
We will look into how the new ideas were turned into practice and how and/or if they challenged conventional wisdom about the good childhood. To mothers who did not (yet) own a washing machine, children playing with dirt were not necessarily appealing, nor the fact that early pot-training, a help to the mother with many children, was something of yesterday. To this purpose we will study letters from the readers of parental magazines of the time.
The preliminary title of Ellen Schrumps paper is:
Bringing up children in post WW2 Norway. Joys and sorrow in parental magazines.
The preliminary title of Ning de Coninck-Smiths paper is:
Democratic spaces. Designing spaces for play in post WW2 Denmark. (Show less)

Sofia Grunditz : Visual Materials, the Visual Remake and Naptime in Preschools
In previous historical studies on historical preschools, the main sources are texts; photos are used merely as illustrations. Inspired by the idea to use visual materials to study the look of the past by examining historical photos and films of preschools, this presentation will shed light on the historic preschool ... (Show more)
In previous historical studies on historical preschools, the main sources are texts; photos are used merely as illustrations. Inspired by the idea to use visual materials to study the look of the past by examining historical photos and films of preschools, this presentation will shed light on the historic preschool institution, on the materiality of naptime practices and conduct visual comparative analyses between contemporary and historical visual data. The empirical data derives from two separate but interrelated studies on naptime in preschool, a video ethnographic field study and an archival ethnographic study. The analyses bring forth mutual characteristics of preschool naptime in both the historical and the contemporary materials. It is shown that there are recurrent patterns in the social interaction at naptime, as well as similarities in the design of the preschool environment for sleep that are stable over time and typical for the preschool institution. The comparative analyses suggest that some of these practices can be theorised as path-dependent and expands the theory of path-dependence as a useful theoretical tool in studies on social interaction, participation, peer culture, and material matter. The presentation focuses on the transdisciplinary visual methodology, the visual remake. Visual remakes are images and a tool for visualisation of results that visualises observable findings and conceptualises a reflection process through images, and not exclusively via the written word. The presentation aims to expand knowledge of how different visual materials can serve as sources and how a research design combining present-day and historical data about the everyday lives of children and adults in preschool opens up space for new research questions. (Show less)

Sofia Littmarck : Political Ambitions to Change the Living Conditions of Children by Means of the Parents
A general education for parents was introduced as a political question in the parliament as a means to diminish child abuse and maltreatment in the 1960s. During the following decades, political advocates from left to the center-right have argued for the introduction and development of support for parents with varying ... (Show more)
A general education for parents was introduced as a political question in the parliament as a means to diminish child abuse and maltreatment in the 1960s. During the following decades, political advocates from left to the center-right have argued for the introduction and development of support for parents with varying and sometimes contradictive political goals.

This paper examines the political debate on parent education and parenting support and its place within the Swedish welfare system between the 1960s and 2000s. It discusses the efforts to change the living conditions of children by means of the parents in the light of the Swedish welfare system – a system characterized by support derived from the social rights of the individual rather than from the family unit. According to this analysis, welfare policies have been built on ambitions to free the individual from economic and social dependence upon the family, the labor market and charity organizations (e.g. Berggren & Trägårdh 2015). Thus, support is also often directed toward the individual. In many respects this is also the case for children as citizens. Welfare policies have aimed at influencing and improving children’s development and living conditions by reducing children’s dependence upon the economic, social and educational situation of the family.

Within this context, the aim is to examine the varying and changing political arguments for parent education and parenting support and discuss whether it is possible to interpret this intervention as build on alternative understandings of the relationships between children, the family and the welfare state in Sweden. Both the left and center-right have argued for influencing the conditions of children by means of the parents, however with different political visions for the organization of the welfare for children and families as well as ideas of what role education and support for parents should have therein. (Show less)



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