"Научное родительство”? Что волнует родителей и какими источниками информации они пользуются
The period of maternity leave for multi-child mothers is generally longer than as compared with mothers with less number of children, and getting to job after a break in combination with an increased volume of family work is more difficult. When high-resource multi-child mothers return to the labor market, they expect not only a “motherhood penalty”, but also a “penalty” for being over-educated with a high probability. The result of resolving the conflict “motherhood vs work” for them most often is either a complete refusal of employment, or finding more flexible options in the field of precarious work, which often means less high requirements for the level of qualification and, as a result, lower income. Based on the series of in-depth interviews conducted by the author in Moscow and Voronezh with high-resource multi-child parents, including a list of questions about the working trajectories of women and also a number of questions about life practices, it is shown that the reverse side of the full or partial leaving from the labor market of multi-child mothers is intensive parenting and setting a high standard for children's education, including a scrupulous selection of educational institutions and a large amount of additional classes. Thus, the complete or partial loss of high-resource women as workers for the labor market is accompanied by a forthcoming significant non-economic effect, since society receives active translators of human capital to a new generation.
Current views about parenting involves the use of expert knowledge in the field of education and upbringing. The available variety of information and opportunities in this area requires parents to engage actively not only at the stage of choosing an educational trajectory for their children, but also in the process of their implementation. Large families with a fairly high income and education set a high educational level for their children, embarking on the path of modern intensive parenting, they use their own resources to achieve results. However, it is obvious that large families, taking into account the number of children and the accumulated experience of parents, have some features in this area. Thus, the work shows that parenting experience in such families allows a more rational approach to the choice of activities and their number, while carefully selecting educational institutions for their children, often depending on the abilities and needs of each child, creating individual educational trajectories. It is also noted that an important component of the educational process is the formation of an intra-family educational environment, which in large families has the ability to self-regulate and recreate. The chosen strategy of intensive parenting, which involves a significant amount of investment in the educational and upbringing process of children, requires focusing resources on children, including through the underutilization of the human capital of parents in the labor market (usually mothers). However, this strategy is considered as the most rational by parents.
We discuss the current socio-cultural situation surrounding parenthood on the basis of an extensive literature review. A distinction is drawn between the constructs of “parenthood” as a social role and “parenting” as a process of raising children. We describe the main social trends: Modern parenthood is analyzed and problematized in connection with the specific features of the modern challenges faced by young educated parents. These trends include the following: the disappearance of understandable models of how to raise children in a family that were taught to parents when they were themselves children, the explosion in the number of ways in which a family can be raised, and a growing number of parenting products and services. All of these factors are symptoms of the decline of “natural” parenting and its replacement by a set of consciously planned strategies. The article shows that as educated members of the population refer to expert knowledge to guide them as parents, it gives rise to a new level of uncertainty due to the fact that the recommendations that are given are inconsistent with each other. A discussion of the transformations in family and upbringing practices shows that they have evolved from a child-centric model to an adult-centric one. Thus, we provide supporting evidence for the conclusion that modern parents raise children against the backdrop of many (perceived and unconscious) contradictions, including, in particular, the one between the growing importance placed on career and life success and the continuing value placed on parenthood, which cannot but affect the parent’s experiences. The growing interest in the study of parental identity and self-efficacy represents a promising research area.
Several approaches to the concept of fatherhood present in Western sociological tradition are analyzed and compared: biological determinism, social constructivism and biosocial theory. The problematics of fatherhood and men’s parental practices is marginalized in modern Russian social research devoted to family and this fact makes the traditional inequality in family relations, when the father’s role is considered secondary compared to that of mother, even stronger. However, in Western critical men’s studies several stages can be outlined: the development of “sex roles” paradigm (biological determinism), the emergence of the hegemonic masculinity concept, inter-disciplinary stage (biosocial theory). According to the approach of biological determinism, the role of a father is that of the patriarch, he continues the family line and serves as a model for his ascendants. Social constructivism looks into man’s functions in the family from the point of view of masculine pressure and establishing hegemony over a woman and children. Biosocial theory aims to unite the biological determinacy of fatherhood with social, cultural and personal context. It is shown that these approaches are directly connected with the level of the society development, marriage and family perceptions, the level of egality of gender order.