Children, Parents, and Family Life, 7.5 credits

Barn, föräldrar och familjeliv, 7.5 hp


Main field of study

Child Studies

Course level

Second cycle

Course type

Programme course


Alex Orrmalm

Course coordinator

Alex Orrmalm

Director of studies or equivalent

Mats Andrén, Judith Lind
ECV = Elective / Compulsory / Voluntary
Course offered for Semester Weeks Language Campus ECV
F7MCH Child Studies, Master´s Programme 3 (Autumn 2023) 202334-202338 English Linköping C

Main field of study

Child Studies

Course level

Second cycle

Advancement level


Course offered for

  • Master´s Programme in Child Studies

Entry requirements

  • Bachelor's degree equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen within the humanities, social sciences or the behavioral sciences with a major relevant to the programme. 
    Examples of fields:
    - anthropology
    - education
    - history
    - communication studies
    - media studies
    - language studies
    - psychology
    - social work
    - sociology
    - political science
    or equivalent
  • English corresponding to the level of English in Swedish upper secondary education (Engelska 6)
    Exemption from Swedish
  • 45 ECTS credits passed from the first year of the programme

Intended learning outcomes

After completion of the course, the student should, on an advanced level, be able to: 

  • discuss theories in the social sciences that concerns the family and reproduction
  • analyse how societal norms about the family and relations between children, parenthood and society are expressed in various social and cultural settings
  • problematize the concept of the family and discuss the conditions for family life taking into consideration aspects such as family structure, gender relations as well as cultural conditions

Course content

The course deals with the concepts of family, parenthood, as well as on children’s relations within the family. It does so with the aid of theoretical perspectives from the social sciences concerned with practices of family life as well as societal norms about the family in different social and cultural contexts. The course focuses on critical reflection as a tool for analysing and problematizing the concept of the family, as well as family practices and conditions, taking into consideration aspects such as family structure, gender relations, and cultural conditions.  

Teaching and working methods

The teaching in this course is carried out online and consists of lectures, seminars and group work. In addition, the student will engage in independent studies.

Language of instruction and examination: English.


Examinations in the course consist of:

  • individual written assignment, grading scale: EC

Higher grades are based on the individual written assignment. 

More detailed information is available in the study guide.

If special circumstances prevail, and if it is possible with consideration of the nature of the compulsory component, the examiner may decide to replace the compulsory component with another equivalent component.

If the LiU coordinator for students with disabilities has granted a student the right to an adapted examination for a written examination in an examination hall, the student has the right to it.

If the coordinator has recommended for the student an adapted examination or alternative form of examination, the examiner may grant this if the examiner assesses that it is possible, based on consideration of the course objectives.

An examiner may also decide that an adapted examination or alternative form of examination if the examiner assessed that special circumstances prevail, and the examiner assesses that it is possible while maintaining the objectives of the course.

Students failing an exam covering either the entire course or part of the course twice are entitled to have a new examiner appointed for the reexamination.

Students who have passed an examination may not retake it in order to improve their grades.



Other information

Planning and implementation of a course must take its starting point in the wording of the syllabus. The course evaluation included in each course must therefore take up the question how well the course agrees with the syllabus. 

The course is conducted in such a way that there are equal opportunities with regard to sex, transgender identity or expression, ethnicity, religion or other belief, disability, sexual orientation and age.

If special circumstances prevail, the vice-chancellor may in a special decision specify the preconditions for temporary deviations from this course syllabus, and delegate the right to take such decisions.


Institutionen för Tema
Code Name Scope Grading scale
EXAM Examination 7.5 credits EC


Inhorn, Marcia Claire, Chavkin, Wendy, Navarro, José-Alberto, Yaman, Maram Abu, (2015) Globalized fatherhood. New York : Berghahn, 2015.

ISBN: 9781782384373, 9781782384380

E-book available through the LiU library. Selected part: Introduction (Globalized fatherhood). In addition, read 1 chapter of your own choice from the other parts of the book. 

Kroløkke, Charlotte, Myong, Lene, Willum Adrian, Stine, Tjørnhøj-Thomsen, Tine, (2015) Critical kinship studies. 2015

ISBN: 9781783484164, 9781783484171, 9781783484188

E-book available through the LiU library. Selected parts: Chapter one (Critical Kinship Studies. Kinship (Trans)Formed). In addition, read 1 chapter of your own choice from the other parts of the book.  A copy of chapter 1 will be uploaded in the course room. 

Mhajne, Anwar, author, Whetstone, Crystal, author, (2020) Troubling Conceptions of Motherhood : State Feminism and Political Agency of Women in the Global South" In: Hall, Lucy B., Weissman, Anna L., & Shepherd, L Laura J. (Eds.) Troubling Motherhood: Maternality in Global Politics, Oxford

ISBN: 9780190939212, 9780190939182, 0190939214, 0190939184

E-book available through the LiU library.

Sparrman, Anna, Westerling, Allan, Lind, Judith, Dannesboe, Karen Ida, (2016) Doing Good Parenthood : Ideals and Practices of Parental Involvement. Cham : Springer International Publishing : Imprint: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016.

ISBN: 9783319467740, 9783319467733


Blackford, Holly, “Playground panopticism. Ring-around-the-children, a pocketful of women”, Childhood, 11(2). 2004

Cannito, Maddalena , “Beyond ‘Traditional’ and ‘New’: An attempt of Redefinition of Contemporary Fatherhoods through Discursive Practices and Practices of Care” Men and Masculinities 2019, 1-19

Gillies, Val , “Understandings and Experiences of Involved Fathering in the United Kingdom: Exploring Classed Dimensions”. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 624(1) 2019, s. 49–60.

Jennings, Laura and Brace-Goven, Jan , “Maternal visibility at the commodity frontier: Weaving love into birthday party consumption” Journal of Consumer Culture, 14(1) Jan (2013)

Available through the LiU library: Journals.

Johansson, Thomas and Klinth, Roger , “Caring fathers. The ideology of gender equality and masculine positions” Men and Masculinities, 11(1) 2008

Available through the LiU library: Journals.

Lupton, Deborah A. , “’The best thing for the baby’: Mothers’ concepts and experiences related to promoting their infants’ health and development”, Health, Risk & Society, 13(7) 2011

Available through the LiU library: Journals.

Malmquist, Anna, Möllerstrand, Anna, Wikström, Maria & Zetterqvist Nelson, Karin , ‘A daddy is the same as a mummy’: Swedish children in lesbian households talk about fathers and donors. Childhood 21, 2014, s. 119-133.

Myers, Kit, ”’If I’m going to do it, I’m going to do it right’: Intensive mothering ideologies among childless women who elect egg freezing”, Gender&Society, 31(6). (2017)

Available through the LiU library: Journals.

Nebeling Petersen, Michael, “Becoming gay fathers through transnational commercial surrogacy” Journal of family issues (2018)

Available through the LiU library: Journals.

Smart, Carol , Children’s narratives of post-divorce family life: From individual experience to an ethical disposition. Sociological Review, 2006, 54(1), s.155-170

Available through the LiU library: Journals.

Thomas, Gareth M., Lupton, Deborah, and Pedersen, Sarah. , “’The appy for a happy pappy’: expectant fatherhood and pregnancy apps” Journal of Gender Studies, 27(7) (2018)

Available through the LiU library: Journals.

Verhoef, Heidi, “’A child has many mothers’. Views of child fostering in northwestern Cameroon” Childhood, 12(3 (2005)

Available through the LiU library: Journals.

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