SARB8020 - Family, market and welfare states in the neoliberal society


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Assignment
Grade: Passed / Not Passed

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
Assignment 100/100 1 semesters ALLE

Course content

During the 19th century, the core family of mother, father and children became the dominant family form in most societies. The transition from agricultural to industrial society can be described as a standardization of the roles within the family. Accordingly, upbringing of children was professionalized and the family became a target group for an emerging supervision and assistance system in the modern welfare states. At the same time, the "standard model" for the family came under pressure from a changing labor market, a transition from industrial society to knowledge society and from neoliberal deregulation of institutions in society.

In this complex interaction between an increasingly flexible working life and looser family structures, welfare measures aimed at families are under pressure. The tendencies of polarization between families economically, socially and culturally increase inequalities in life chances between children and families. Such inequalities have implications for how families manage parenthood and bring up their children. Practicing parenthood in the neoliberal knowledge society is demanding. Through various measures of support, regulation and control provided by services such as health care, kindergarden, school and child welfare, parenthood is constructed both internally in the family and externally in relation to other adults and to central institutions in children's lives. In these relationships, children, parents, welfare providers, the state and society negotiate normative values and ideals associated with notions of good childhood and good parenthood.

Learning outcome

Knowledge - the student shall:

  • understand advanced theories on children, family and parenthood related to late modernity, neoliberalism, new social conservatism, governmentality and the interaction between family, state and market.
  • evaluate the application of different methods and processes in research on the relationships between children and parents, parenthood and family development
  • contribute to the development of new knowledge, new theories, methods and/or interpretations in the field of parenting and family life

Skills - the student shall demonstrate the ability to:

  • formulate research questions, plan and conduct research on the relationships between children and parents, parenthood and family
  • conduct research at a high international level
  • deal with complex academic issues and challenge established knowledge and practice in the field

General competence - The student shall

  • be able to identify new ethical issues and dilemmas in the relationship between family, market and welfare states in neoliberal societies and to engage in broader debates surrounding their research

Learning methods and activities

Compulsory participation at the seminar. Written paper, 4500-5000 words. The paper should be relevant to your own PhD-project. The course may be changed or cancelled if there are less than 5 students registered.

Compulsory assignments

  • Participation

Further on evaluation

The paper may not be used as part of the doctoral thesis, but may be related to the doctoral thesis.

Required previous knowledge

Master's degree or equivalent

More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  5.0 SP
Study level: Doctoral degree level


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  AUTUMN 2022

Language of instruction: Norwegian

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Child Welfare
  • Social Work
Contact information
Course coordinator: Lecturer(s):

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Social Work


Examination arrangement: Assignment

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Autumn ORD Assignment 100/100 ALLE



Room Building Number of candidates
Spring ORD Assignment 100/100 ALLE



Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

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