Raising a child between tradition and modernity: A contrastive discourse analysis of French and German parenting books

Abstract : This paper presents a comparison of French and German parenting guidebooks. Within the theoretical framework of cross-cultural discourse analysis, the description of different discursive procedures helps to iden- tify the authors’ respective portrayals of child rearing. More specifically, the analysis focuses on the relationship between child rearing and either tradition or modernity—the latter often being scientific in nature. The opposition between tradition and modernity appears on various levels, including the continuum of past and present, and cultures both familiar and distant to the book’s readership. The authors’ positions with respect to temporal and geographic differences imply different perspectives on parenting. The authors define widely differing relationships to “the old” as well as to “old sayings,” including idioms and language itself as a common heritage. Finally, all the guidebooks refer to “old discourse,” or the discursive stereotypes that ultimately restrict parents’ choices. In differentiating the guidebooks on these various analytical levels, a French “public” conception of responsibility for the child emerges, as opposed to the German “private” conception of the same responsibility.
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Journal articles
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01419454
Contributor : Patricia Von Münchow <>
Submitted on : Monday, December 19, 2016 - 2:48:22 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, April 11, 2019 - 4:02:12 PM

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  • HAL Id : halshs-01419454, version 1

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Patricia Von Münchow. Raising a child between tradition and modernity: A contrastive discourse analysis of French and German parenting books. Langage et Société, Maison des Sciences de L'homme Paris, 2012, 1 (139), ⟨http://cairn-int.info/mon_panier.php?ID_ARTICLE=E_LS_139_0127⟩. ⟨halshs-01419454⟩

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