PhD-course: Family, market and welfare states in the neoliberal society

25. November 2024

- 27. November 2024

NTNU Trondheim

Course content

During the 19th century, the core family of mother, father and children became the dominant family form in most societies. The transition from agricultural to industrial society can be described as a standardization of the roles within the family. Accordingly, upbringing of children was professionalized and the family became a target group for an emerging supervision and assistance system in the modern welfare states. At the same time, the “standard model” for the family came under pressure from a changing labor market, a transition from industrial society to knowledge society and from neoliberal deregulation of institutions in society.

In this complex interaction between an increasingly flexible working life and looser family structures, welfare measures aimed at families are under pressure. The tendencies of polarization between families economically, socially and culturally increase inequalities in life chances between children and families. Such inequalities have implications for how families manage parenthood and bring up their children. Practicing parenthood in the neoliberal knowledge society is demanding. Through various measures of support, regulation and control provided by services such as health care, kindergarden, school and child welfare, parenthood is constructed both internally in the family and externally in relation to other adults and to central institutions in children’s lives. In these relationships, children, parents, welfare providers, the state and society negotiate normative values and ideals associated with notions of good childhood and good parenthood.

Read more about th PhD-course and how to apply at our PhD-courses website