9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN04 Sociology of Children and Childhood

2009-09-05 11:00:00 2009-09-05 12:30:00 Saturday, 5 September 11:00 - 12:30 Family Relationships and Emotions Building II, C6.01

Socializing relations in the family: A comparative study of domestic texts from Norway and China

Socializing relations in the family: A comparative study of domestic texts from Norway and China
Since the school reform of 1997 Norwegian schools have used teddy bears and ?teddy-diaries? as a common tool to bridge the transition between family and school for pupils entering school for the very first year. The entries in the written diary usually in the form of stories from the teddy bear?s experiences in the children?s home are shared with the others in class, as well as with the school and other families who receive the book. As a text material for research teddy diaries represent highly normatively saturated domestic stories from families with six-year-old?s. In addition to ten diaries retrived from Norwegian schools, written in 2006 and 2007, we have initiated a process where ten teddy diaries were produced in first grade classes in six schools in the centre of Beijing, China, in the fall of 2006. Each diary contains approximately 25 entries. We have approximately 250 entries to analyze from each country. In this paper we will focus on the roles, status and tasks given to the visiting teddy bear in the two county settings, and the qualities and qualifications that are inscribed into the stuffed animal. MCD as a tool for analysis can shed light on a child?s internal and relational position within a family, and how the socializing agency of the family is ingrained in these relations. The precence of the teddy bear is a catalyst for these domestic stories, as the children tell their story to the teddy as well as give voice to the teddy?s own story. A comparison will reveal a cultural difference in internal family relations, providing different settings for socialization practices.