Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Anticipating the transition to parenthood: the contribution of Foucaultian discourse analysis to understanding life-course patterns


Schwiter, K (2011). Anticipating the transition to parenthood: the contribution of Foucaultian discourse analysis to understanding life-course patterns. Area, 43(4):397-404.

Abstract

Existing analyses of life-course transitions tend to take either an institutional or an agency perspective. The aim of this paper is to show how a discourse analytical approach might contribute to bridging the gap between the two perspectives and thereby broaden our understanding of life-course trajectories. To do this, it presents an empirical study that looks at how young Swiss adults anticipate the transition to parenthood. The findings show that young adults are confronted with conflicting and opposing norms concerning parenthood. On the one hand, there is the idea of free choice as to whether and when to have a child. On the other hand, there exist persisting societal prescriptions that govern who may legitimately become a parent. Whoever does not fulfil the required conditions – the discourse suggests – should not have children. The discourse perspective thus brings to the fore what counts as shared knowledge in a particular place and at a particular historical moment. It indicates how the social construction of the transition to parenthood forges particular life-course trajectories.

Abstract

Existing analyses of life-course transitions tend to take either an institutional or an agency perspective. The aim of this paper is to show how a discourse analytical approach might contribute to bridging the gap between the two perspectives and thereby broaden our understanding of life-course trajectories. To do this, it presents an empirical study that looks at how young Swiss adults anticipate the transition to parenthood. The findings show that young adults are confronted with conflicting and opposing norms concerning parenthood. On the one hand, there is the idea of free choice as to whether and when to have a child. On the other hand, there exist persisting societal prescriptions that govern who may legitimately become a parent. Whoever does not fulfil the required conditions – the discourse suggests – should not have children. The discourse perspective thus brings to the fore what counts as shared knowledge in a particular place and at a particular historical moment. It indicates how the social construction of the transition to parenthood forges particular life-course trajectories.

Statistics

Citations

2 citations in Web of Science®
3 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

24 downloads since deposited on 03 Jan 2011
6 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Date:2011
Deposited On:03 Jan 2011 10:18
Last Modified:07 Dec 2017 04:36
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:0004-0894
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-4762.2010.00975.x
Official URL:http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1475-4762.2010.00975.x/abstract

Download