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Managing Family Relations and Controlling Information While Supporting an Allergic Child
Jönköping University, Sweden.
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Division of Health, Activity and Care. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Division of Health and Society. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
2013 (English)In: Qualitative Sociology Review, ISSN 1733-8077, Vol. 9, no 3, 205-219 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper explores parental (particularly mothers’) support in the daily lives of children with allergies in a Swedish context. An ordinary life is established by making comparisons to what other children without allergies presumably can do (and eat). Although the parents’ goal is to support their child in managing allergies, neither their practical nor their interactional strategies work in a clear-cut direction to promote the child’s ordinary life and identity. On the contrary, parents’ accounts convey that they function just as much against an everyday life and the child’s identity. When managing family relations, parents expect immediate family members (specifically grandparents)to understand and accommodate the child’s needs.

However, claims of family responsibility are made through moral tales about lack of support from “generalized others.” Family responsibility is also downplayed in parents’ accounts as demands of support may put parents’ moral self at risk. The strategy of information control in certain situations and (non-family) relations used to keep the child safe may risk stigmatizing the child, alternatively, making the child into a social threat. One of the conclusions that could be drawn from this study is that claims of family support may be contradictory to other cultural principles that ascribe responsibilities between families and individuals, as the principles of individual freedom and autonomy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 9, no 3, 205-219 p.
Keyword [en]
Everyday Life; Sweden; Parental Strategies; Childhood Allergy; Family Responsibility; Moral Practice; Moral Self
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-96896OAI: diva2:643772
Available from: 2013-08-28 Created: 2013-08-28 Last updated: 2014-08-04Bibliographically approved

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Hemmingsson, HelenaHydén, Lars-Christer
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