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'What kind of mum are you at the moment?': Supernanny and the psychologising of classed embodiment

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>07/2010
Issue number2
Number of pages23
Pages (from-to)170-192
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date3/06/10
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This paper examines the rehearsal of familiar debates about how to raise children within the genre of ‘transformational television’ in the UK. It explores the prevalence in symbolic and cultural fields of ideas about ‘poor parenting’ as an expression of pathological culture and lifestyle, alongside the psychological ethic that operates within transformational television. Using examples drawn from the Supernanny (Ricochet Productions, Channel 4, 2003), the most popular of these programmes, and drawing on the work of Nikolas Rose and Pierre Bourdieu, I argue that parenting acts as a significant site for the psychologising of a particular parental habitus, which in turn operates within a wider cultural moment of the individualisation of social inequalities.