Family as text: Gendered parenthood and family display through home-school-correspondence in Norway.
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionHaldar, M., & Røsvik, K. (2020). Family as text: gendered parenthood and family display through home-school correspondence in Norway. Gender, Place & Culture, 1-21. https://doi.org/10.1080/0966369X.2020.1724080
This article examines how different Norwegian families display family and parenthood ideals in one of the most gender-equal countries in the world. Empirically, the article is based on an ethnographic material in the shape of so-called ‘travel diaries’. The diaries are written by Norwegian school children and their parents with the purpose of describing how everyday family life unfolds. The diaries are analysed within a discursive framework and by the use of analytical concepts like display, performativity, text circulation, repetition, habit etc. We discuss how gendered family display are spatially and temporally organized. We argue that normative standards and cultural codes for what seems to be a ‘good family life’ are created and maintained by a kind of social circulation, and that the family is a place where gender relations confirm existing welfare state policy. Gender equality and reciprocity are central values doing parenthood, and further the family is a transmission-belt between private and public gendered subject positions. By displaying family in a text-correspondence, this article also reveals how mothers participate in the construction of modern fatherhood as an intimate caregiver.