Caregiving Dilemmas : Ideology and Social Interactionin Tanzanian Family Life

Sammanfattning: This thesis explores caregiving ideology and social interaction in Tanzanian families with a focus on guidance and control of young children. The study is set within a context of social change in terms of urbanization as well as the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The aim of the study was to explore how the conditions for children’s participation are shaped within local deology and situated practice. A qualitative study was undertaken inspired by the traditions of language socialization, sociocultural theory and discursive psychology. Data was collected in one urban and one rural district in the coastal region in Tanzania. The thesis contains four articles. Article one and two are based on data from focus group discussions with parents and grandparents exploring caregiving responsibilities. The first study explores caregivers’ discourses regarding the responsibility of guidance and control of children related to social change. The analysis constructed two interpretative repertoires: guidance and control as a community matter and guidance and control as a family matter. These repertoires are related to an ideological caregiving dilemma regarding parental authority and individual rights. The second study investigates caregivers’ discourses regarding early childhood discipline strategies. The analysis suggested a model illustrating various levels of power asymmetries related to corporal punishment, conceptualized in terms of to beat with care, to treat like an egg, as if beating a snake and the non-care of non-beating. Article three and four are based on video recorded data and present analyses of moment-to-moment, multimodal sequences of interaction. The third study explores how siblings in Tanzania actively engage in their own socialization concerning caregiving responsibilities through the negotiation of guidance and control between younger siblings, older siblings and adults. The forth article presents findings from analyses of naturally occurring literacy events. The analysis shows how participation is negotiated in terms of  symmetries and asymmetries between younger and older siblings. Norms and values belonging to the social order of the formal school are enacted parallel to the social order of participatory learning with roots in everyday interaction in the home. The four studies illustrate conditions of participation in terms of symmetries and asymmetries in early childhood relationships. The findings are also discussed in terms of a caregiving dilemma regarding individual rights versus parental authority. This dilemma is identified both in lived and theoretical ideology as presented in caregivers’ discourses and the ideology of children’s rights.