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Children calling SOS: On the construction of meaning in calls to an emergency line

Financed by: The Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research FAS 2005-0236
Project title:'Children calling SOS: On the construction of meaning in calls to an emergency line'
Project with: FD Karin Osvaldsson, tema Barn, Linköpings universitet
FD Jakob Cromdal, tema Barn, Linköpings universitet
FD Daniel Persson-Thunqvist, IBL, Linköpings universitet

The project has examined the social interaction taking place in emergency calls phoned in by children. Calls to emergency centres typically comprise the first step in a variety of emergency response operations. Such operations rely for their efficiency on the information collected during the initial report. It is crucial threfore, to investigare the interactional routines and resources drawn upon by callers and operators in the joint construction of emergency reports. In total, over 130 calls were collected and transcribed, comprising 40 calls from children, 32 from teenagers and 40 adult calls, for comparison. We have also collected a corpus of 20 calls from ambulance drivers and nurses and accessed a corpus of earlier calls to 90000, the Swedish emergency number prior to 1996. The project was approved by a regional research ethics committee. In addition, a security agreement was set up with the national emergency agency, SOS-Alarm. A series of analyses highlighted the communicative work by which callers and operators strive for clarity and comprehension, trying to minimise the risks for misunderstandings (Cromdal et al, in Mondada et al, forthcoming; Osvaldsson, et al, forthcoming). One study concerns the initial phase (Persson-Thunqvist et al., forthcoming) of the calls, examining how callers of different age respond to the standard opening phrase “SOS 112, what has occurred?” It was found that children were more prone to answer by requesting a certain type of service (e.g., paramedic assistance), thus telling the operator what sort of help they needed, rather than responding to the operators’ query by telling what had happened. Closer examination of the data revealed that this responsive pattern was typical in children’s calls with a co-present adult, most often a parent or relative of the caller. In calls where no such adult was present at the scene, the proportion of children’s immediate descriptions of emergencies would approach that of adult callers. It was therefore concluded that children calling the emergency services may be acting upon a co-present adults’ instructions, which makes them somewhat less attentive to the operators’ opening questions during the very beginning of the calls. Another study examines the ways in which young callers together with the operator work to produce contextually relevant, reliable and sufficiently detailed reports of the emergency (Cromdal et al, 2008), showing how operators employ a variety of discursive means to enforce upon the talk their communicative agenda. One specific resource which the operators would use in light of previous communicative trouble is questions with candidate answers, which would guide the caller as how to provide a relevant response to the query at hand (Cromdal et al, forthcoming). Another analysis deals with the diagnostic interrogations, whereby the medical status of victims to accidents is being established. Specifically we have found that diagnostic formulations are generally dispreferred by the operators, who seek to find out about the patient’s symptoms. We also found that compared to adults, children seem much more hesitant to use diagnostic formulations, thus acting more in alignment with the operators’ concerns (Cromdal et al, conference presentation, 2008). Finally, Osvaldsson et al (2007) and Osvaldsson et al (2009/forthcoming) highlight the parties orient to and deal with matters of comprehension in calls where the caller speaks Swedish as a foreign language. The project also generated a review of previous research (Persson-Thunqvist et al, 2008) and a brief overview of the project, both aiming at a broader audience of readers (Cromdal et al 2007). The project has generated much interest from the media, including the morning press, national radio and regional television, which greatly helped to disseminate the results from the studies.

Children Witnessing Violence

Financed by: Brottsoffermyndigheten
Project title: Barn som bevittnar våld
Projectdirector: Professor Margareta Hyden , Department of Thematic Studies - Child Studies, Linköpings universitet

Children’s and youth’s consumption of visual culture.

Time: 2005-2008/9
Financed by: Vetenskapsrådet, Utbildningsvetenskap
Finansiär: Vetenskapsrådet, Utbildningsvetenskap
Project title: Children and youth’s consumption of visual culture
Projectdirector: FD Anna Sparrman, tema Barn, Linköpings universitet

The aim of the research project is to generate knowledge about children’s (5-18 years old) visual worlds. Its main concern is to problemize interactions between children, consumption and visual culture. An important assumption for the project is that individuals by ways of seeing appropriate knowledge about the world. Thereby is focus on children’s own knowledge production and use of visual media. Questions to be asked are: What kind of knowledge does children and adolescents appropriate from visual media surrounding them? How does that influence their way of understanding themselves and the world they are living in? The research has an interdisciplinary and thematic approach. By combining visual ethnography (i.e. video recordings) with focus group interviews it is possible to give children themselves voice in relation to these questions. The researches thereby concentrate on children’s everyday practices. The data will also consist of different kinds of material such as TV programs, TV commercials, commercials and articles in magazines, food packaging and film. An important aspect to the project is to inquire boundaries between traditional school knowledge and knowledge children and youth receive through popular culture. The project consists of three different parts all dealing with issues of visual consumption in today’s society. Part one is about a specific visual rhetoric aimed specifically towards child consumers, the example consists of breakfast cereal packages which lately has been strongly criticised for lurking children to consume too much sugar. Part two discuss and problemize children’s image consumption and conceptualisation of sexuality in popular culture, while the third part compares the reception and productions of ideas about trafficking (trade with humans) and democracy in the movie Lilja 4-ever in Baltic schools.



Bullying and Gender in Contemporary Vietnam: The Intersections between Masculintiy and harassment in Vietnamese Schools

Financed by: SIDA-SAREC
Project led by: Universitetslektor Helle Rydström, Centrum för genusvetenskap, Lunds universitet
Ph.D. Paul Horton, tema Barn, Linköpings universitet

Comparative Study on Child Care and Welfare Policies: History and Contemporary trends in Sweden and China

Projekttid: on-going
Finansiär: SI (Swedish Institute)
Projekttitel: Comparative Study on Child Care and Welfare Policies
Projectdirector: FD He Ling, tema Barn, Linköpings universitet

“Comparative Study on Childcare Welfare Policies: History and Contemporary trends in Sweden and China” is a cross-national compare study, first survey over the structure of welfare for children between Sweden and China. With historical perspective and use policy analysis method to get an overview of the situation and the development history of childcare policies in Sweden and China. Compare the level of equality, analyse factors influencing to childcare policies structure and provide scientific rationales to the government policies making in two countries.


Ling He. Brief Analysis of Child Welfare Policy in Sweden. China Youth Study [J] 11 (2008)

Keywords family policy, child welfare, child care, Sweden, China

Cross-cultural research on working families in Sweden, Italy, and the United States

Financed by: Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
Project title: Cross-cultural research on working families in Sweden, Italy, and the United States
Projectdirector: Professor Karin Aronsson, tema Barn, Linköpings universitet

Datorspelande som estetisk praktik och informellt lärande

Financed by: Vetenskapsrådet
Project title: Datorspelande som estetisk praktik och informellt lärande
Projectdirector: Professor Karin Aronsson, tema Barn, Linköpings universitet
Together with:
Ph.D. Björn Sjöblom, tema Barn, Linköpings universitet
FD Polly Björk-Willén, tema Barn, Linköpings universitet
FD Pål Aarsand, tema Barn, Linköpings universitet

Intercountry adoption in Sweden 1960-1997

Time 2008-2010
Finansed by: FAS
Forskare: FD Cecilia Lindgren, tema Barn, Linköpings universitet

Since late 1960’s, almost 50 000 children, from more than 50 countries, have been internationally adopted in Sweden. Adoption is a radical event, and an experience that affects life as a whole for those involved. It is therefore an important public matter. Public authorities decide who can form a family through adoption, and society forms the conditions that these families meet. Thus, intercountry adoption is a societal phenomenon and will here be studied as such, as a public policy and practice.

The aim of the research project is to study how intercountry adoption was established and how it developed in Sweden from the early 1960’s to the late 1990’s. Three areas will be investigated. First, political debates and regulations will be studied, focusing questions on how adoptions should be arranged and in what ways children should be brought to Sweden for adoption. Second, the co-operation between authorities, adoption agencies and professionals in Sweden and in the many countries of origins, are investigated. Third, the discussions among politicians and professionals on the right for adoptees to know about their origins, are analyzed. The study is based on official policy documents, documents from authorities handling adoption issues and interviews with politicians and professionals working with intercountry adoptions during the particular period.

This project offers new insights into the history of intercountry adoption, valuable to the growing field of adoption research both nationally and internationally. It will also, by highlighting the legal and ethical dilemmas of the past, contribute to the discussion on intercountry adoptions today. It is carried out in collaboration with the Swedish Intercountry Adoptions Authority, and the results will be published in a book in 2010.

"You're not alone It might just as well have been me writing that - Young people communicating psychological suffering on the in

Financed by: FAS, 2006-0926
Project title: "Du är inte ensam. Jag hade lika gärna kunnat skriva det där" - Ungdomar kommunicerar om psykiskt lidande via internet.
Projectdirector: FD. Karin Osvaldsson, tema Barn, Linköpings universitet
Together with Gudrun Furumark.

Internet based support and self-help groups are virtually ubiquitous. The speed with which the internet has spread into the everyday lives of young persons is also being increasingly exploited by professional organizations dedicated to providing help for young people in trouble. Such is also the case with the here investigated electronic notice board provided by a Swedish mental health service for children and adolescents. A starting point for the project is not to investigate the limits of the medium itself (human-machine-human interaction) but instead to conduct a detailed study of internet social interaction, as in how it is accomplished and what is achieved by the interactants themselves. Approaching the notice board as a place for the publication of texts, and studying texts (not individuals) reveals that the stories and narratives are at the centre of this study. Contributions from the years 2007-2008 are targeted for detailed study, over 2300 postings, varying from very short exclamations to lengthy narratives. The web page is found to host a “community of sufferers” where contributors constantly negotiate the rules and boundaries for membership, for example what constitutes “proper suffering” within the community. Other postings describe a need for sharing experiences or expressing emotional states, or complaining about a diagnosis. Moreover, the notice board functions as a place for offering and asking for advice, a kind of peer counselling where your own problems are used and described as a resource for competence in helping others. The outcomes of this research are relevant for professionals, their
clients and the research community in that they describe the ways in which marginalized groups of people make make themselves heard. At the same time their own descriptions and dissemination of problematic experiences serves as a resource for others. Methodologically, the project adds important new knowledge as it introduces ways of analyzing texts as interaction from a member’s point of view.

Freedom and equality for children of the welfare states? Nordic childhoods 1900-2000

Time: 2005-2010
Financed by: Nordiska samarbetsnämnden för humanistisk och samhällsvetenskaplig forskning (NOS-HS)
Professor Astri Andresen (vetenskaplig ledare), Institutt for arkeologi, historie, kultur og religionsvitenskap (AHKR), Universitetet i Bergen
FD Ólöf Gardarsdottir, Statistics Island
FD Monika Janfelt, Institutt fir Historie, Kultur og Samfundsbeskrivelse, Syddansk universitet, Odense
FD Cecilia Lindgren, tema Barn, Linköpings universitet
Professor Pirjo Markkola, Åbo Akademi
FD Ingrid Söderlind, Institutet för Framtidsstudier, Stockholm

From Instruction to Reflection – teachers’ and pupils’ use of schoolfilm and schoolmovie

Financed by: Vetenskapsrådet
Project title: From Instruction to Reflection – teachers’ and pupils’ use of schoolfilm and schoolmovie
Projectdirector: Docent AnneLi Lindgren, Child Studies, Linköpings universitet
With researcher: FD AnneLi Lindgren, Child Studies, Linköpings universitet

The aim of the present project (2003-2010) is to examine notions of exclusion and inclusion, constructed and mediated by school film, that is, normalizing – and thereby marginalizing – societal ideas of the 20th century and today. Thus, the present project focuses the treatment of gender, age, class and ethnicity in the content of school films and in the activities around showing such films. Hence, the school film activity is studied as a social phenomenon, that is, as relation to and dependent upon social, political and economical processes. This implies that the project has an interdisciplinary approach; drawing on disciplines such as history, art, literature and pedagogy.

Through the use of a media ethnographic method, the project will show how pupils and teachers in practice recycle the content of school film in their own activities – both in teaching and in their spare time. The method applied can also elucidate the relation between the film content and school subjects, such as Literature and History. The approach of the present study supports a critical analysis of the content of the films and how such content is communicated to the pupils. It will also analyze the pupils’ use of the film contents: what is picked up and what is rejected. Thus, the project also strives to elucidate the understanding of learning, teaching and traditions of knowledge in the school, drawing on school film activities.

Head of project: Anne-Li Lindgren, Associate Professor, Department of Thematic Studies –
Child Studies
In the project: Anna Sparrman, docent, tema Barn; Katarina Eriksson Barajas, universitetslektor, Institutionen för Välfärd och Samhälle

Selected publications:

Assessing adoption applicants. Family and parenthood norms in adoption homestudies

Time: 2008-2010
Finansiär: Vetenskaprsrådet (VR)
FD Cecilia Lindgren, tema Barn, Linköpings universitet
FD Judith Lind, tema Barn, Linköpings universitet
Docent Karin Zetterqvist-Nelson, Institutionen för beteendevetenskap och lärande, Linköpings universitet

In the creation of families through adoption the state has assumed the responsibility for safeguarding the best interest of the child. Therefore, presumptive adoptive parents are assessed in a homestudy carried out by a social worker. The aim of this research project is to scrutinize the adoption homestudy process by analysing homestudy documents as well as interviewing social workers and presumptive adoptive parents. The project has a discourse analytical approach and will address questions like the following: What kind of information do homestudy documents contain? What family norms are construed in them? How do social workers reason about their ability to assess the parent potential of an applicant? How do adoption applicants reason about being assessed?
Although adoption is a research field that is growing quickly and that has increasingly recognized the role of the state and its authorities, there is no prior research of adoption homestudies in inter-country adoption. By examining the role of the state in the creation of families through adoption, this research project would contribute to research not only on adoption, but also on family policy, the welfare state and children’s rights. Through a close examination of assessments that are difficult to make and that lead to life-altering significance for individual children and adults, it addresses issues of democracy and can thereby also contribute to the development of assessment methods.

Hur barn används och avbildas i reklam

Time: 2006-2010
Financed bt: ELAN-programmet
Project: Delvis ingår avhandlingsarbetet i forskningsprogrammet Elanvändning i vardagen under projekttiteln Föreställningar kring barn och energiteknik i reklam och informationsmaterial.
Projectdirector: Professor Kajsa Ellegård, tema Teknik och social förändring, Linköpings universitet
Ph.D. Johanna Sjöberg, tema Barn, Linköpings universitet

Affective stances and informal learning in multilingual classrooms

Financed by: Vetenskapsrådet
Project title: Känslouttryck och informellt lärande i flerspråkiga klassrum
Projectdirector: FD Asta Cekaité Thunqvist, tema Barn, Linköpings universitet

Being able to recognise and to display situationally appropriate affective stances is an inherent part of communicative and social competence. Participation in everyday educational activities in multilingual settings not only relies upon linguistic and other types of communicative competence, but also involves participants’ abilities to display and interpret relevant affective stances. Until now, however, second language acquisition research has to a large degree explored cognitive aspects of language learning, and has largely neglected affective aspects of language acquisition. This far, only a handful of studies have examined how second language speakers express and recognise affective stances in situated interactions. The present study adopts a language socialization perspective combined with detailed interactional analyses of classroom activities. More specifically, it examines how children second language learners employ affective stances in their everyday interactions with teachers and peers, as well as their teachers’ ways of using affective stances as a part of pedagogic activities in multilingual classrooms on elementary grade levels. By adopting a longitudinal approach, this s explores the role of affective stances in second language socialization, and learning, situated in classroom interactions.

Emergency call trouble. Construction of meaning in native–non-native interaction in calls to an emergency centre'

Financed by: The Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation. FAS 2005-0236
Project title: Emergency call trouble. Construction of meaning in native–non-native interaction in calls to an emergency centre'
Projectdirector: FD Jakob Cromdal, tema Barn, Linköpings universitet
Together with: FD Karin Osvaldsson, tema Barn, Linköpings universitet

Men;s violence towards women in close relationships

Financed by: Brottsoffermyndigheten
Project title: Men's violence towards women in close relationshipsProjectdirector: Professor Margareta Hydén, tema Barn, Linköpings universitet

Nature as a symbol of ideal childhood and preschool as an arena for its accomplishment

Projekttitel: Nature as a symbol of ideal childhood and preschool as an arena for its accomplishmentProjektledare: Professor Gunilla Halldén, tema Barn, Linköpings universitet
Medarbetare: FD Disa Bergnéhr, tema Barn, Linköpings universitet
Docent AnneLi Lindgren, tema Barn, Linköpings universitet
FD Eva Änggård,

The overall aim of the study is to see how nature is given an important role in the discourse of ideal childhood. Nature is contrasted to the urban childhood through its distance to “the wildness”. By tracing the ideas of naturalness and assess how it has been connected to the child’s best interest, we hope to understand how nature is given certain values in educational philosophy and in everyday psychology.

The more specific goal is to highlight how nature is used as a metaphor when parents and preschool teachers talk about early childhood. We will also see how nature is used in the practices and in children’s everyday life. The project has three subprojects and is conducted in parallel to a Norwegian study of outdoor kindergartens.

Part 1 is oriented towards history of ideas and will focus on how metaphors are linked to childhood in educational philosophy and how nature is part of the discourse in books used in early childhood education.
Part 2 is a study based on interviews with elderly people about their childhood and about how they used nature in their play and outdoor activities.
Part 3 is an ethnographic study of a preschool with an outspoken outdoor profile. One focus is how parents and teachers present nature as acting in the child’s best interest. The other focus is how nature has a role in children’s play and how the children’s outdoor activities make use of nature. The study is done through methods of interviews and video-observations.

Keywords: Childhood, nature, ideal childhood, preschool, ethnography


This is an ongoing project and nothing is published yet. A book with chapters from all the members of the project and other researchers will be published during 2009. The book is based on a workshop in 2007 with researchers from philosophy, folk-lore, education and sociology. A book written by Gunilla Halldén is in progress and will be published early 2010.


När mamma blir slagen. Barn berättar om våld i nära relationer

Financed by: Forskningsrådet för arbetsliv och socialvetenskap
Projecttitle: När mamma blir slagen. Barn berättar om våld i nära relationer
Projectdirector: Professor Margareta Hydén, tema Barn, Linköpings universitet

Rural families in transitional Vietnam

Financed by: SIDA
Project title: Rural families in transitional Vietnam
Project director: Universitetslektor Helle Rydström, Centrum för genusvetenskap, Lunds universitet

The impact of troubles telling and advice giving on a national children;s helpline.

Financed by: Australian research council DP0773185
Project title: he impact of troubles telling and advice giving on a national children's helpline.
Medarbetare: FD Karin Osvaldsson, tema Barn, Linköpings universitet

Culture of Origin and Culture of Living. The significance of culture for the health and quality of life of intercountry adoptees

Financed by: The Swedish Research Council
Project title: Culture of Origin and Culture of Living. The significance of culture for the health and quality of life of intercountry adoptees
Projectdirector: FD Judith Lind, tema Barn, Linköpings universitet

This research project is important in relation to two different public debates concerning children. The background to one of them are the results of several studies, according to which adopted children and young people are overrepresented in situations that indicate poor mental health. The other concerns children’s rights to their culture, stipulated by the UN Convention of the Right of the Child. The aim of the present research project is twofold and the approach is interdisciplinary. The aim of the research project is to investigate how the significance attributed to the cultural identity of intercountry adoptees has changed in the latter half of the 20th century and the meanings that have been and are given to concepts like cultural identity and cultural background in the Swedish intercountry adoption discourse.

Ökad rörelsefrihet för pojkar och flickor

Financed by: Vinnova och Vägverket
Project title: Ökad rörelsefrieht för pojkar och flickor
Projectdirektor: FD Åsa Aretun, tema Barn, Linköpings universitet

Aims and objectives
The aim of this project is to explore the spatial mobility of boys and girls (14 years old) in their spare time. How does boys' and girls' mobility differ? How are differences connected with gendered notions of safety and danger? We will map out their choices of routes and ways of transportation. We will interview the children about their travelling focusing on freedom of movement and restriction, their accounts of risks and notions of safety, their different needs and views of actions for more independent mobility.

Impact and results
The study contributes to a long-term accumulation of knowledge concerning gender and transports. In relation to knowledge of how gender differs in time and space the study contribute to knowledge of how women's and men's notions of safety and danger concerning everyday transports changes over the life cycle.

Implementation of Plan and Methodology
The project is a case study with a qualititive apporach, geographically delimited to a Swedish suburb - a design aimed at explore the complex interplay between humans and infrastructure. GIS (geographic information system) methods will be used for storing and analysing data concerning routes and ways of transportation. Qualitative interviews will be used complementary.

Partners and Financial sources
The local government of Linköping, The Swedish Road Administration




Childhood and work. Aspects of children's work in home and out of home

Time: 2003-2006
Financed by: Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research
Projecttitle: Childhood and Work. Aspects of children’s Work in Home and out of Home.
Projectdirector: Professor Gunilla Halldén, tema Barn, Linköpings universitet
Member: FD Kristina Engwall, FD Ingrid Söderlind, Docent Mats Sjöberg, FD Tobias Samuelsson

This project has posed a number of questions on children’s work. We have questioned to what degree children work and to what extent the last 50 years has involved changes, what processes that may lay ground for these changes and how children’s work can mirror ideas of children and childhood.

The questions have been discussed in different subprojects and the impact of children’s work has been regarded on a societal level and in relation to the consequences of our view on children in this society. It is possible to point to large changes but also to continuity.
If we draw attention to the changes some specific work will come into focus. This work is that of the more formal labour market and which involves money transfers. With a broadening of the definition of work the continuity becomes apparent. Some chores in the home, as well as school work, have been the responsibility of the child during the whole period. The increase of women’s paid work during the period has also changes children’s situation.

Children’s connection to the formal labour market has decreased, according to official statistics and other type of sources. It is a gradual decrease over time but in regards to work of 20 hours or more per week the decrease was especially large during the 1990s. On another level, in particular sections of the labour market, the changes are not as clear. During the whole period there is work aimed for children and which children do, in entertainment and sales. In the start of our investigation period these where also sorting of Christmas cards at the post office, strawberry picking, part-time work in retail, babysitting. Today it is harder to see such clear work for children specifically. Much of the work that was earlier done almost exclusively by children is now carried out by adults, for example commercial delivery. The view on competence is in this case an important factor. On a more general level children and young adults are often considered as more competent than earlier generations, but in regards to work and responsibility we seem to be seeing another development. The trust in children’s competence seems to have decreased.

The project is connecting two such apparently inconceivable concepts as children and work and this leads to a questioning of both concept. When children define what they regard as work the concept becomes multi faceted and blurred with activities such as school work and pastime activities. Work is defined to demand effort and skills as well as being a forced necessity. It has a clear value by it being paid in some form and in it being needed. The strong value given to work can be recognised in many contexts. Work in Sweden is closely linked to citizenship and is regarded as a necessity for the individual to contribute to society’s production and reproduction. The induction into the labour market is assumed to give not only an economic worth but also a sense of belonging and context. The teachers interviewed in our study also show a belief in work as something that can give a real meaning to ideals of solidarity and hard work. The institutions they themselves work in, the school, were not seen as motivating enough to impress working morals.

The multi facetted concept of work as the children in our study used indicates that they in one sense are involved in activities that could be regarded as work. However, the question is if these activities are regarded by the children, or others, to contain the qualities needed for a larger contextual belonging and therefore can be regarded as a work that gives citizenship status. Rather it seems that the children regard themselves as on the way to such citizenship status.

Keywords: Childhood, work, child labour policy, ethnography


Children;s ideas about family life, gender and identity

Time: 1989-1995
Financed by: Swedish Council for Social Work and the Swedish Council for Research in humanities and Social Sciences
1989-1991 Children’s ideas about family, child rearing and parenthood
1991-1993 ’Who am I?’ – Drawings and narratives made by 13-14 year olds about family life, studied as their dreams and thoughts about their own identity.
1993-1995 Constructing normality. Ideas among children and youth on family and parenthood.
Projectdirektor: Projektledare: Professor Gunilla Halldén, tema Barn, Linköpings universitet
Member: Psykologstuderande Ann-Margret Grewin

The data were collected in a school project, in collaboration with teachers, where children were asked to write about their future family. We collected material from children in two age groups, 8-10 and 13-14, in three different Swedish towns. The data include drawings and stories written on the topic 'My future family'. The project discusses different aspects of children's ideas about family life, but also how children in narratives express a self-presentation. A psychosocial perspective and narrative analysis open up the possibility of blurring the boundary between real and fictional life and make it possible to discuss the narratives as children's ways of exploring positions in a family and their ways of doing gender.


Children’s rights to a culture. The school as an arena where children’s culture is negotiated,

Time: 2000-2003
Financed by: Swedish National Agency for Education
Projectdirector: Professor Gunilla Halldén, tema Barn, Linköpings universitet
Member: FD Åsa Aretun, tema Barn, Linköpings universitet

Publiching: Åsa Aretun (2007) Barns "växa vilt" och vuxnas vilja att forma : formell och informell socialisation i en muslimsk skola. (Diss).

Family and working life in the 21st century.

Time: 2003-2005
Financed by: Swedish council for working life and social research
Project Together with Professor Eva Bernhardt, Department of Sociology Stockholm University
Projectdirector: Professor Gunilla Halldén, tema Barn, Linköpings universitet
Member: FD Disa Bergnéhr, tema Barn, Linköpings universitet

Publiching: Disa Bergnéhr (2008) Timing Parenthood. Independence, Family and Ideals of Life. (Diss)

Changing preschool and a new meaning of childhood

Time: 2001-2004
Financed by: The Swedish Research Council
Projecttitle: Changing preschool and a new meaning of childhood
Projectdirector: Professor Gunilla Halldén, tema Barn, Linköpings universitet
Member: FD Ann-Marie Markström, FD Maria Simonsson, FD Eva Änggård

Within the sociology of childhood the conceptualisation of children as 'becoming' has been critisised, and children as 'beings' has been advocated as a way of recognising children's competence and of taking the child perspective. However this dichotomy has also been criticised for seeming to ignore the fact that we are all part of dynamic processes and that adults also are 'becoming'. When scrutinising how the concepts being, becoming and project are used in the context of the preschool, we can detect aspects of childhood that open up for recognition of children as both competent and dependent. We argue that preschool is constructed by its actors, children, parents and preschool staff, and that we need to understand the processes of negotiation that occur. Children need to be in a relationship to be social and to develop trust, and we therefore need to acknowledge the aspect of being as well as the aspect of becoming. The framework and the overall findings are presented in a book 'Modern childhood and children's everyday life'.
Three ethographic studies have bee carried out all of them contributing to an understanding of children's everyday life in preschool.
Ann-Marie Markström wrote a PhD thesis with the title 'Preschool as a normalizing practice - an ethnographic study'. The study concerns how preschool i construct preschool as a necessity in everyday life for young children. Preschool is taken for granted and made a s constructed and reconstructed in context by its actors. The overall results show that the actors normal part of childhood in the same way as school. Preschool is legitimated as an interest for society, for families and parents, but also in the best interest if individual children. There is a complex relation between the actors and the institution is formed as an intermediate domain between public and private.
Maria Simonsson's PhD thesis has the title 'Picture books in preschool - an interactional perspective'. The aim is to provide increased understanding of children's usage of picture books. The overarching result of analysis of day-to-day picture book practices was that children's use of picture books is a multifaced and complex phenomenon. Books become involved in many different processes. Educators regard the picture books to be a natural part of the rearing of preschool children. The study shows that children also use picture books as tools, taking ideas from the pictures for play, conversations, and relayionships, as a means of understanding and orienting themselves in the adult world, the child's world, and especially the preschool world.
Eva Änggård wrote a PhD thesis entitled 'Making pictures - a part of preschool children's peer cultures'. The aim of this thesis was to analyse how preschool children act and make meaning of art activities. The ethnographic approach has made visible the multiplicity of the children's picture production. The children's picture production is part of their peer cultures. In these cultures , specific conventions constitute important elements and a condition enabling the transfer of motifs among children. Popular culture constitutes an opportunity to create a zone outside adult control. From that perspective, children's peer cultures may be understood as expressions of children's efforts to gain control over their life.


Parental ideas and common-sense psychology

Time: 1986-1989
Swedish Council for Research in Humanities and Social Science
Projecttitle: Child rearing and parents’ ideas as frames of reference
Projecdirector: Professor Gunilla Halldén, tema Barn, Linköpings universitet
Member: Psykologstuderande Ann-Margret Grewin

Implicit psychological theories of parents are viewed as being related to culture and analysable in terms of ideology and world view. In an interview study contrasting images of the child could be seen, sometimes co-existing in one and the same person. The ideas are formulated in metaphorical terms as the child as project and the child as being. It is argued that parents adopt contrasting ideas of child as a means of dealing with conflicting demands on parenthood - creating a free zone for individuality while helping one's child adapt to the environment.

Keywords: Common sense psychology, parenthood, ideology and world view, child development


State – Children and social change

Time: 1997-2000
Financed by: Swedish Research Council
Together with Professor Bengt Sandin, tema Barn, Linköpings universitet
Projectdirector: Professor Gunilla Halldén, tema Barn, Linköpings universitet
Member: Docent Karin Zetterqvist Nelson, tema Barn, Linköpings universitet

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Last updated: Mon Oct 20 11:37:22 CEST 2014