Communicating and Spatialising Parentcraft: the Translocal Mediation of Familial Spaces and Discourses in a Reality TV Parenting Programme

    Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingConference abstract in proceedingResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    Since 2003, British television has seen a new set of media therapeutic genres emerge around the spectacle of the parenting of so-called ’problem’ children. What is significant in these television programmes is the pervasive use of language, talk and space to inculcate better parenting practices. This paper focuses on one hybrid genre that mixes the counselling format with the Big Brother reality TV format. The House of Tiny Tearaways first appeared on British television in May 2005. Over a six day period, three families are invited to reside in a specially designed house together with a resident clinical psychologist. The child-friendly house is equipped with two-way mirrors and video cameras, as well as hidden rooms and passages. The programme relies heavily on routine video and audio surveillance (eg. wireless microphones) as a therapeutic tool. Moreover, the House is a laboratory for producing problem behaviours and communicative troubles.

    The analysis presented in this paper focuses on the mediation of familial spaces and technologies and the work of governmentalising parenting (ie. the conduct of parental conduct) through spatial practices. The paper draws upon mediated discourse analysis, conversation analysis and membership categorisation analysis, combined with contemporary theories of space and place, as well as a Foucauldian perspective on governmentality and the care of the self. The analysis focuses on several key phenomena: 1) practices of video observation and translocality; 2) use of inscription devices to visualise behaviour and action, such as sleep graphs, reward schemes and video displays; 3) practising ‘techniques’ of parentcraft in place, such as the ‘timeout’ and the ‘naughty step’; and 4) doing ‘becoming’ the proper object of family therapy or counselling. For example, a variety of interactional routines are available for the ‘truth’ of parenting to be staged within regimes of ‘truth telling’ (eg. interviews and therapy sessions). By careful analysis, this paper documents how the cultivation of communicative competences amongst the ‘caring-but-not-coping’ parents (and their children) affords the governing-at-a-distance of the responsible, autonomous family.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationAbstracts: 10th International Pragmatics Conference
    Publication date2007
    Publication statusPublished - 2007
    EventInternational Pragmatics Conference, IPrA 2007 - Göteborg, Sweden
    Duration: 8 Jul 200713 Jul 2007
    Conference number: 10

    Conference

    ConferenceInternational Pragmatics Conference, IPrA 2007
    Number10
    CountrySweden
    CityGöteborg
    Period08/07/200713/07/2007

    Fingerprint

    mediation
    video
    discourse
    television
    genre
    family counseling
    communicative competence
    television program
    conversation analysis
    governmentality
    family therapy
    sleep
    psychologist
    discourse analysis
    reward
    surveillance
    counseling
    coping
    parents
    resident

    Keywords

    • discourse studies
    • place bound activities
    • space
    • conversation analysis
    • media
    • children
    • television

    Cite this

    @inbook{bf864d809d1b11dc8188000ea68e967b,
    title = "Communicating and Spatialising Parentcraft: the Translocal Mediation of Familial Spaces and Discourses in a Reality TV Parenting Programme",
    abstract = "Since 2003, British television has seen a new set of media therapeutic genres emerge around the spectacle of the parenting of so-called ’problem’ children. What is significant in these television programmes is the pervasive use of language, talk and space to inculcate better parenting practices. This paper focuses on one hybrid genre that mixes the counselling format with the Big Brother reality TV format. The House of Tiny Tearaways first appeared on British television in May 2005. Over a six day period, three families are invited to reside in a specially designed house together with a resident clinical psychologist. The child-friendly house is equipped with two-way mirrors and video cameras, as well as hidden rooms and passages. The programme relies heavily on routine video and audio surveillance (eg. wireless microphones) as a therapeutic tool. Moreover, the House is a laboratory for producing problem behaviours and communicative troubles.The analysis presented in this paper focuses on the mediation of familial spaces and technologies and the work of governmentalising parenting (ie. the conduct of parental conduct) through spatial practices. The paper draws upon mediated discourse analysis, conversation analysis and membership categorisation analysis, combined with contemporary theories of space and place, as well as a Foucauldian perspective on governmentality and the care of the self. The analysis focuses on several key phenomena: 1) practices of video observation and translocality; 2) use of inscription devices to visualise behaviour and action, such as sleep graphs, reward schemes and video displays; 3) practising ‘techniques’ of parentcraft in place, such as the ‘timeout’ and the ‘naughty step’; and 4) doing ‘becoming’ the proper object of family therapy or counselling. For example, a variety of interactional routines are available for the ‘truth’ of parenting to be staged within regimes of ‘truth telling’ (eg. interviews and therapy sessions). By careful analysis, this paper documents how the cultivation of communicative competences amongst the ‘caring-but-not-coping’ parents (and their children) affords the governing-at-a-distance of the responsible, autonomous family.",
    keywords = "diskursstudier, stedbundne aktiviteter, medier, b{\o}rn, discourse studies, place bound activities, space, conversation analysis, media, children, television",
    author = "Paul McIlvenny",
    year = "2007",
    language = "English",
    booktitle = "Abstracts: 10th International Pragmatics Conference",

    }

    Communicating and Spatialising Parentcraft : the Translocal Mediation of Familial Spaces and Discourses in a Reality TV Parenting Programme. / McIlvenny, Paul.

    Abstracts: 10th International Pragmatics Conference. 2007.

    Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingConference abstract in proceedingResearchpeer-review

    TY - ABST

    T1 - Communicating and Spatialising Parentcraft

    T2 - the Translocal Mediation of Familial Spaces and Discourses in a Reality TV Parenting Programme

    AU - McIlvenny, Paul

    PY - 2007

    Y1 - 2007

    N2 - Since 2003, British television has seen a new set of media therapeutic genres emerge around the spectacle of the parenting of so-called ’problem’ children. What is significant in these television programmes is the pervasive use of language, talk and space to inculcate better parenting practices. This paper focuses on one hybrid genre that mixes the counselling format with the Big Brother reality TV format. The House of Tiny Tearaways first appeared on British television in May 2005. Over a six day period, three families are invited to reside in a specially designed house together with a resident clinical psychologist. The child-friendly house is equipped with two-way mirrors and video cameras, as well as hidden rooms and passages. The programme relies heavily on routine video and audio surveillance (eg. wireless microphones) as a therapeutic tool. Moreover, the House is a laboratory for producing problem behaviours and communicative troubles.The analysis presented in this paper focuses on the mediation of familial spaces and technologies and the work of governmentalising parenting (ie. the conduct of parental conduct) through spatial practices. The paper draws upon mediated discourse analysis, conversation analysis and membership categorisation analysis, combined with contemporary theories of space and place, as well as a Foucauldian perspective on governmentality and the care of the self. The analysis focuses on several key phenomena: 1) practices of video observation and translocality; 2) use of inscription devices to visualise behaviour and action, such as sleep graphs, reward schemes and video displays; 3) practising ‘techniques’ of parentcraft in place, such as the ‘timeout’ and the ‘naughty step’; and 4) doing ‘becoming’ the proper object of family therapy or counselling. For example, a variety of interactional routines are available for the ‘truth’ of parenting to be staged within regimes of ‘truth telling’ (eg. interviews and therapy sessions). By careful analysis, this paper documents how the cultivation of communicative competences amongst the ‘caring-but-not-coping’ parents (and their children) affords the governing-at-a-distance of the responsible, autonomous family.

    AB - Since 2003, British television has seen a new set of media therapeutic genres emerge around the spectacle of the parenting of so-called ’problem’ children. What is significant in these television programmes is the pervasive use of language, talk and space to inculcate better parenting practices. This paper focuses on one hybrid genre that mixes the counselling format with the Big Brother reality TV format. The House of Tiny Tearaways first appeared on British television in May 2005. Over a six day period, three families are invited to reside in a specially designed house together with a resident clinical psychologist. The child-friendly house is equipped with two-way mirrors and video cameras, as well as hidden rooms and passages. The programme relies heavily on routine video and audio surveillance (eg. wireless microphones) as a therapeutic tool. Moreover, the House is a laboratory for producing problem behaviours and communicative troubles.The analysis presented in this paper focuses on the mediation of familial spaces and technologies and the work of governmentalising parenting (ie. the conduct of parental conduct) through spatial practices. The paper draws upon mediated discourse analysis, conversation analysis and membership categorisation analysis, combined with contemporary theories of space and place, as well as a Foucauldian perspective on governmentality and the care of the self. The analysis focuses on several key phenomena: 1) practices of video observation and translocality; 2) use of inscription devices to visualise behaviour and action, such as sleep graphs, reward schemes and video displays; 3) practising ‘techniques’ of parentcraft in place, such as the ‘timeout’ and the ‘naughty step’; and 4) doing ‘becoming’ the proper object of family therapy or counselling. For example, a variety of interactional routines are available for the ‘truth’ of parenting to be staged within regimes of ‘truth telling’ (eg. interviews and therapy sessions). By careful analysis, this paper documents how the cultivation of communicative competences amongst the ‘caring-but-not-coping’ parents (and their children) affords the governing-at-a-distance of the responsible, autonomous family.

    KW - diskursstudier

    KW - stedbundne aktiviteter

    KW - medier

    KW - børn

    KW - discourse studies

    KW - place bound activities

    KW - space

    KW - conversation analysis

    KW - media

    KW - children

    KW - television

    M3 - Conference abstract in proceeding

    BT - Abstracts: 10th International Pragmatics Conference

    ER -