Workshop: Critical Perspectives on Parenting in Switzerland

This workshop aims to connect researchers from different disciplines who conduct research relevant to parenting in Switzerland. Contributions will explore themes such as parenting norms and moralities, gendered imaginations and practices of parenting, parenting beyond the heterosexual, nuclear family, and interactions and relationships between state institutions, state-affiliated experts, and parents.

Datum: 18. November 2022
Ort: University of Lucerne

Swiss family policies appear limited in the support they offer in comparison with other European states: they do not provide for extended parental leave, and offer only 14 weeks of maternity leave and no maternity protection. Switzerland also has comparatively restrictive policies on assisted reproduction. Reconciling work and family is another challenging issue in Switzerland, where day-care fees are high and the school system envisages that children eat lunch at home. At the same time, the state invests in the ‘risk management’ of families with young children, for example with the Mütter-and Väterberatung, (MVB, mothers’ and fathers’ advisors), that offers parents an extensive and free expert accompaniment in early childhood. In terms of parenting, Switzerland thus seems to embrace conflicting strategies: on the one hand, restrictive family policies render parenting a ‘private’ risk, while, on the other hand, state-affiliated experts subject parents to disciplinary interventions. In the light of these tensions, Switzerland provides an especially interesting context for the exploration of people’s experiences of becoming parents and rearing children, the (gendered) organisation of care-work, and the relationship between parents, state institutions, and state-affiliated experts.

Call for Papers