Maternal perceptions of media presentations of the 'parental determinism’ and the impact of this on their wellbeing

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Since the late 20th century, parenting has featured increasingly in the media, accompanied by a shift from regarding the raising of children as tacit knowledge to regarding it as requiring expert guidance based on scientific evidence.

‘Parental determinism’, a phrase coined by sociologist Frank Furedi, is the idea that parents’ everyday practices causally shape the future behaviours and wellbeing of their children and, therefore, the wellbeing of society. It is claimed that this idea is implicit, and sometimes explicit, in much government policy on parenting.

Using interviews with mothers and the analysis of online parenting forums and broadcast media, this PhD project aims to understand better maternal perceptions of ‘parental determinism’, the role of the media in shaping these perceptions, and the impact of these perceptions on mothers’ wellbeing. 


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