Collaborative instrumentalization of family life: How new learning agendas disrupt care chains in the Danish welfare state

Allan Westerling*, Pernille Juhl

*Corresponding author

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


This article argues that the latest Danish Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) Act has direct implications for the ways in which parents and professionals collaborate about children. The Act introduces a learning agenda that installs an asymmetrical distribution of tasks, which, we argue, may subsequently cause asymmetrical relations between parents and professionals. This asymmetry poses a threat to the shared care arrangement, which has historically characterized the welfare states of Scandinavia. We analyze how the new conditions for collaboration between parents and professionals, stipulated in the recent ECEC Act, are translated and transformed into local polices and everyday practices. In addition to reporting ethnographic research done in two ECEC centers, we analyze how recent policy shifts have implications for the daily collaboration between parents and professionals. We show how the learning agenda marginalizes parents’ perspectives in the collaboration between families and ECEC centers. Our discussion of the consequences emphasizes that possibilities for collaborating on shared care are left unused and that this may contribute to an instrumentalization of familial relations.
TidsskriftNordic Psychology (Online)
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)136-152
Antal sider17
StatusUdgivet - 2021

Bibliografisk note

Important note from the publisher regarding the attached version of the article: “This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Nordic Psychology on 14 Sep 2020, available online:”

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