On Justification of Child Treatment

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 4:00 PM
Room: Booth 64
Oral Presentation
Ingrid BOSSELDAL , Lund University, Höllviken, Sweden
On justification of child treatment

Since a government decision in 2009 Sweden has a national policy for parental support, attended by the Swedish Institute of Public Health and strongly oriented to parental interventions that are evidence based (which is defined by the authority as “interventions that have been checked with high-quality research and have proven to give results”). Furthermore the Swedish Institute of Public Health states that “support of good parenthood” is one of the main targets for the public health interventions.

In my paper I analyse the definitions of child and childhood in the national policy for parental support and in three of the proposed, so called “evidence based” parental educations (whereof two are directly imported from USA, with none adaption to a Swedish context).

My research aims to investigate how different definitions of a child – and “good parenthood” - is used by the authorities to legitimise a certain - and preferred - kind of parental treatment of the child. When is the child´s behavior seen as a problem? How, and from which professional perspectives and national contexts, are the parents taught to act in these situations? And why are they taught to act like this (how are the insisted action justified)?

Theoretical as well as analytical I am influenced by Michael Foucaults archeological discourse analyses (highly applicable in a field so composed by investments in scientifical findings) and Luc Boltanskis and Laurent Thèvenots six orders of worth.