The politics of parenthood

4:05 min

What makes a good parent and how have attitudes to parenting changed in Sweden over the past century?

Just some of the topics up for discussion in a new book launched today called "The politics of parenthood."

The book is an anthology of different articles about parenthood from political ideas about parenthood to everyday ideas among parents themselves. One of the contributors is Roger Klinth, a senior lecturer at Linköping University, specialising in gender roles in parenting.

"The ideas about good parenting have varied a lot and what is significant for the modern debate is the more complex ideas about parenthood, you can live in different sorts of families," Roger Klinth told Radio Sweden. 

The role of the state in parenthood covers not just class and gender but school, adoption, fostering and divorce , the rules of which have had a  knock-on effect on family dynamics in Sweden. The book's Co-editor Helena Bergman is a historian working at Stockholm University.

"Divorce and parenthood was introduced at a political level in Sweden in the 1940's and 1950's when there was a perception that a lot of people were getting divorced and the question was what should we do with the children, whereas now divorce does not affect joint parentood."

Helena Bergman believes that in the next 100 years, the trend will be towards non-parenting.