Parenting apps and the depoliticisation of the parent

Ramaekers, Stefan and Hodgson, Naomi (2019) Parenting apps and the depoliticisation of the parent. Families, Relationships and Societies. ISSN 2046-7443

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This article considers the implications of parenting apps for the position of the parent in the parent-child relationship. Key focuses in the critical sociological literature on the ‘parenting culture’ and the increasing digitisation of our daily lives are summarised to show how parenting apps can be seen as an extension of the instrumentalisation, scientisation, and psychologisation identified therein. A pedagogical-philosophical register is introduced, however, informed by Stanley Cavell’s account of initiation in forms of life and Klaus Mollenhauer’s account of upbringing, that brings out the political aspect of the figure of the parent, as a representative figure situated between child and world. With reference to a selection of apps aimed at the period from pregnancy to three years old, we illustrate how, while sharing similarities with the existing sources of information and advice for parents, parenting apps are distinctive due to the personalisation, visualisation, and notion of community they offer. Hence, what appears as a politicisation of parents through a sociological lens is seen as a depoliticisation of parents through a pedagogical-philosophical lens.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information and Comments: "This is a post-peer-review, pre-copy edited version of an article published in Families, Relationships and Societies. The definitive publisher-authenticated version Parenting apps and the depoliticisation of the parent by Stefan Ramaekers and Naomi Hodgson, when published will be available online at: []"
Keywords: upbringing, parenting apps, community, depoliticisation, pedagogical representation, personalisation, visualisation
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Education > Education Studies
Depositing User: Naomi Hodgson
Date Deposited: 29 Sep 2019 12:38
Last Modified: 19 Feb 2020 16:37

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