The Languages of Psychology and the Science of Parenting

  • Stefan RamaekersEmail author
  • Judith Suissa
Part of the Contemporary Philosophies and Theories in Education book series (COPT, volume 4)


The focus of the first chapter, and the basis for the thematic discussion which we take up again in later chapters, is an account of the conceptual and ethical aspects of childrearing and the parent–child relationship that are suggested by and, more importantly, that are left out by, the current dominant ways of speaking about childrearing and the parent–child relationship. These dominant ways are, we argue, strongly informed by the languages of psychology – particularly by the languages of developmental psychology, behavioural psychology and, fairly recently, neuropsychology. Alongside this, they are also strongly informed by the idea that parents are somehow in need of education. Taken together, these two phenomena refer to what we discuss here as the scientisation of the parent–child relationship. What we are particularly concerned with is how, within the current discourses, rich notions that are inherent to the parent–child relationship such as parental responsibility are given a very narrow sense. By analysing recent prominent research and popular literature on parenting and policies on parent support, in both the UK and Flanders, we hope to ‘de-naturalise’ the current predominant ways of conceptualising childrearing and the parent–child relationship and to open up ways of seeing this arena in a different light.


Parenting Style Child Relationship Secure Attachment Attachment Parenting Meeting Place 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences Laboratory for Education and SocietyKatholieke Universiteit LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  2. 2.Faculty of Policy and Society Institute of EducationUniversity of LondonLondonUK

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