Childhood and Parenthood: Conceptualizing As Social Construction or Social Process?

Monday, 11 July 2016: 14:45
Location: Übungsraum 4A KS (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Désirée WATERSTRADT, University of Education Karlsruhe, Germany
Childhood and parenthood are social phenomena that cannot be understood separately but only in their complementary relatedness. Without parenthood there will be no childhood. And without childhood there is no parenthood.

To conceptualize childhood and parenthood as a social construction is nothing new. Another way to conceptualize childhood and parenthood could refer to process-sociology based on Norbert Elias. Then both phenomena would be described as long term social processes in generation chains – interwoven complementarily, institutionalized in certain types and orders of figurations and based on the interrelationship of sociogenesis and psychogenesis. The direction of the processes could be identified by analysing long term figurational changes, changes of power balances and habitus.

This paper compares both conceptualizations and their implications as well as their opportunities and limitations.