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In Earlier Days Everyone Could Discipline Children, Now They Have Rights: Notions of Responsibility in Focus Group Discussions about Care Giving in urban Tanzania
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Psychology. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Psychology. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Department of Public Health Sciences Karolinska Institute, SE- 171 77 Stockholm, Sweden.
2014 (English)In: Journal of Community and Applied Social Phychology, ISSN 1052-9284, E-ISSN 1099-1298, Vol. 24, no 3, 191-204 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The title of this paper ‘In earlier days we could discipline our children, now they have rights’ is a citation from a focus group discussion undertaken with a group of adult caregivers in Tanzania regarding their guidance and control of their children. It illustrates a dilemma that some caregivers are struggling to make sense of within the current discursive order on the guidance and control of children. In a previous study regarding discipline strategies in urban Tanzania, we have found a discourse regarding the necessity of using corporal punishment in order to properly raise children, findings which are in line with other studies indicating the frequent use of corporal punishment as discipline strategy in East Africa. On a different note, there is an ideological call for change for children and the Government, as well as civil society organizations and other international and bilateral organizations use the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) to argue for the importance of improving the conditions of childhood in Tanzania. The new Child Act (United Republic of Tanzania, 2009) is a landmark in this process as it significantly strengthens the legal rights of the child. It also represents an ideological position in terms of child-adult relationships, regulating the responsibilities of both caregivers and children. In terms of guidance and control of children, the wording of the act was a field of ideological debate concerning the issue of corporal punishment, with some stakeholders advocating for the total ban of corporal punishment. The endorsed version of the Child Act regulates the manner of administering discipline on children but it does not explicitly prohibit corporal punishment.

It has been argued that the CRC represents an ideological and moralist discourse about childhood, based on Western ideals of an individualistic society and that it disregards the interdependence of human beings. Scholars have further raised concerns regarding the changing nature of childhood related to national development and globalization arguing that, rather than regarding individuals as constituted and fixed, vested with certain rights, it is necessary to focus on the relations in which identities are constructed and how these relationships are co-created by individuals in local space.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Wiley-Blackwell, 2014. Vol. 24, no 3, 191-204 p.
Keyword [en]
Caregiving, Discipline, Ideological dilemmas, Children’s Rights, Tanzania
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-76516DOI: 10.1002/casp.2160ISI: 000335662500002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-76516DiVA: diva2:514907
Available from: 2012-04-11 Created: 2012-04-11 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Caregiving Dilemmas: Ideology and Social Interactionin Tanzanian Family Life
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Caregiving Dilemmas: Ideology and Social Interactionin Tanzanian Family Life
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Omsorgsdilemman : Ideologi och Social Interaktion i Tanzaniskt Familjeliv
Abstract [en]

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.

Abstract [sv]

Avhandlingen behandlar omsorgsideologi och social interaktion i  tanzaniska familjer med fokus på vägledning och kontroll av yngre barn. Studien är situerad i en kontext som präglas av social förändring med avseende på urbanisering och implementeringen av konventionen om barns rättigheter. Syftet med studien var att utforska hur förutsättningar för yngre barns deltagande skapas inom ramen för lokala ideologier och som lokala praktiker. Data samlades in i en urban och en rural miljö utmed den Tanzaniska östkusten. Avhandlingen innehåller fyra delstudier. I analysen av data användes kvalitativa metoder som har sin teoretiska grund i språksocialisation, socio-kulturell teori och diskursiv psykologi. De första två artiklarna baseras på fokusgruppdiskussioner med föräldrar samt mor- och farföräldrar. Den första artikeln utforskar diskurser med avseende på ansvaret för vägledning och kontroll av barn relaterade till den aktuella sociala förändringen. Analysen konstruerade två tolkningsrepertoarer: samhällsansvar för vägledning och kontroll och familjeansvar för vägledning och kontroll. Dessa repertoarer är relaterade till ett ideologiskt omsorgsdilemma som rör föräldrars auktoritet och barns individuella rättigheter. Den andra studien utforskar diskurser rörande disciplinering och kroppslig bestraffning av små barn. Analysen presenterar en modell som illustrerar hur olika disciplineringsstrategier representerar olika former av  maktasymmetrier i form av a) att slå med omsorg, b) att behandla som ett ägg, c) som att slå en orm och d) icke-omsorgen i att inte slå. Studie tre och fyra är baserade på videoinspelat material och presenterar analyser av multimodala sekvenser av interaktion. Den tredje studien utforskar hur syskon under måltidssituationer bidrar till sin egen socialisation genom förhandlingar mellan yngre syskon, äldre syskon och vuxna. Den fjärde studien presenterar fynd från analyser av spontana läs- och skrivhändelser i barns vardag. Analysen visar hur förutsättningar för deltagande förhandlas i termer av symmetrier och asymmetrier mellan yngre och äldre syskon. Normer och värden som tillhör den tanzaniska skolans sociala ordning kan återfinnas i förhandlingar parallellt med informellt lärande med rötter i vardaglig interaktion i hemmiljö. De fyra studierna illustrerar förutsättningarna för deltagande i relationer genom att analysera symmetrier och asymmetrier i familjerelationer under de tidiga barndomsåren i Tanzania. Fynden tolkas också som omsorgsdilemman som rör individens rätt i motsats till auktoritet och anpassning till traditionella värden. Detta dilemma kan spåras både i praktisk och teoretisk ideologi i föräldrars och mor- och farföräldrars diskurser inom den kontext som barnrättsideologin skapar.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2012. 79 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 552Linköping Studies in Behavioural Science, ISSN 1654-2029 ; 162
Keyword
Caregiving dilemmas, ideology, child rights, interaction, language socialization, Tanzania, early childhood relationships, participation, power asymmetries, Omsorgsdilemman, ideologi, barns rättigheter, interaktion, språksocialisation, Tanzania, tidiga barndoms relationer, deltagande, makt asymmetrier
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-76520 (URN)978-91-7519-908-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-05-04, I:101, Hus I, Campus Valla, Linköpings univeristet, Linköping, 09:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2012-04-16 Created: 2012-04-11 Last updated: 2012-04-16Bibliographically approved

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Johnson Frankenberg, SofiaHolmqvist, Rolf

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