Föräldraskap mellan styrning och samhällsomvandling : En studie av syn på föräldrar och relation mellan familj och samhälle under perioden 1957-1997
Sammanfattning: The present study sought to illustrate how the way parents were viewed was expressed, and how it developed between 1957 and 1997, as seen from child-health-care recordcard material, a professional journal and public reports on instruction for parents. The study also describes and analyses the relationship between family and society during the same period. The starting point is the state´s intention to strengthen the social standing of children and support their parents in their task of upbringing. The material reveals a line of development in which during the first twenty years, parents were viewed with a certain distrust. The family was portrayed as a partly dangerous isolate while parents were described in long paragraphs as less than fully knowledgeable and aware, and in need of expert guidance. Hence attempts were made to usher the parents and their child onto the lighted stage of public concern. A generally directed parental training scheme run by the community was considered necessary and was, moreover, expected to be able to fashion the parents into more social-politically committed citizens. The goal was ultimately to promote democracy and equality. Hope lay in the inherent development potential parents are nevertheless considered to possess, and in the collective upbringing provided by public child care in pedagogically stimulating surroundings. From the end of the 1970s till the last year of the 1990s the perspective shifted toward greater reliance on parental competence. At the same time national control changed towards more decentralisation, which also affected the relation between family and society. Towards the end of the period under study parents were being viewed as adult and competent. Respect for parental autonomy and freedom of choice were now at the focal point of the state view. Parents had become customers in a market much reflecting the urge towards globalisation then making itself felt. The responsibility for support to parents shifted out to the local community which, through local mobilisation, was expected to be available with support and resources when parents themselves so wished. Instead of being governed by the state, parents, through selfgovernance, were to be responsible for choise of life-style, pre-school and school alike. Their task was, in harmony with the local community surrounding them and with the UN children´s convention, to act in their child´s best interests.
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