Teddy Diaries: Exploring Social Topics Through Socially Saturated Data

  • Marit HaldarEmail author
  • Randi Wærdahl
Reference work entry


Teddy bears with diaries are common pedagogical tools for home-school collaboration. In this chapter, we use three analytical examples comparing teddy diaries from Norway and China to demonstrate how these diaries give unique access to the display of family life. Because the diaries circulate not only between the school and the family but between families, each family influences the other in how they write their entries. This social process saturates the diaries with the norms, values, and ideas of the social context. Comparing and contrasting diaries from two different contexts adds to the richness of each dataset, as it illuminates the things that we take for granted and the things that are there that we do not talk about. By this methodological demonstration, we wish to challenge two hegemonic positions in qualitative methods and show that you do not have to “be there” to get close to lived life and you do not have to “speak to people” to get trustworthy data about the social. This kind of data is easily assessable for research with the consent of schools and families, and they are easy to initiate in schools or any institutions with groups of some permanence.


Display of families Participatory data Family life Comparative analysis Data saturation Teddy diaries 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Social Work, Child Welfare and Social PolicyOslo and Akershus University College of Applied SciencesOsloNorway

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