Building good knowledge or blaming bad parents? examining the construction of parents and parenting in a corpus of parent focussed cochlear implant research articles

Emily Kecman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Parents of deaf children with a cochlear implant (CI) report feeling pressure to adhere to a very prescribed conceptualisation of ‘good parenting’, and in some cases report feeling judged or blamed, for example, if the child's progress post-CI is slower than expected. Previous investigations of the discourses of parenting science suggest that, while parent blame is rarely expressed explicitly, that normative, moral assumptions about how ‘good parents of a disabled child’ should feel, think and act are embedded within prevalent concepts and terminology. A disproportionate focus on evaluating individual parents' personal characteristics at the expense of more external, socially located issues has also been noted. Existing critiques, together with the author's lived experience provide the impetus for this study; in which corpus linguistics methods have been used to document the types of parents and parenting attributes constructed in a 420,982 corpus of research articles. The results indicate the prevalence of many highly evaluative parenting noun-collocates within the field; successful adaptation, a positive appraisal of the situation, realistic expectations, rational decisions, high involvement and full-time use of the CI are conflated with good parenting, whilst parents who present in alternate ways are construed as problematic. Implications for future research are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13074
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalSociology Compass
Volume17
Issue number4
Early online date6 Feb 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2023. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

Keywords

  • cochlear implants
  • parenting
  • parents
  • corpus linguistics
  • discourse analysis
  • social research
  • collocation analysis
  • deaf and hard of hearing children

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