Childhood and parenting in diverse context

Postgraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content

The aim of this course is to examine the child, childhood and parenting in different societies and cultures. Historical, gender and cultural perspectives on parenting and childhood are explored, as well as rights-based perspectives and children┬┐s own understanding. In this course, there is a particular focus on the consequences of migration for migrant children and families in the Norwegian context. Particularly, we examine how social and structural factors influence the living conditions of children and families, with migrant or ethnic minority backgrounds. In light of the above, we address the main challenges that diverse groups of parents and children face interacting with welfare state professionals in Norway.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this course, the students should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills, and general competence:


The student

  • has advanced knowledge of and insight into different analytical perspectives on childhood, and parenting
  • has advanced knowledge of and insight into social diversity in family structure, roles, and childrearing practices in different cultural contexts
  • has knowledge of the transformations, challenges, and opportunities migration can bring to families and children, particularly in the Norwegian context
  • has advanced knowledge of how ethnicity, gender, and social class are factors that shape the lives of ethnic minority children and parents living in Norway
  • has advanced knowledge of the challenges and opportunities that arise at the meeting between migrant and ethnic minority families and the Norwegian welfare state


The student

  • can critically discuss and compare children's lives and the position and rights of children in different cultural settings
  • can analyze and discuss how ethnicity, gender, and social class affect various dimensions of the lives of migrant and ethnic minority families
  • can critically analyze and discuss professional practice in the context of child welfare services with minority families and communicate complexities

General competences:

The student

  • can demonstrate an in-depth understanding of variety and diversity in childhood and family life
  • can critically reflect on the question of private versus public responsibility for children┬┐s wellbeing
  • can recognize, critically reflect on, and communicate professional and ethical dilemmas in working with migrant and minority families

ECTS Credits

15 ECT

Level of Study


Semester of Instruction


Place of Instruction

University of Bergen
Required Previous Knowledge
Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap
Access to the Course

Bachelor and master students at the University of Bergen may apply.

Students from the master's programme in Child Welfare Work will be given priority.

Teaching and learning methods
Includes lectures, seminars, supervision and self-study. Students are expected to look into relevant literature and work actively in groups.
Compulsory Assignments and Attendance
75% compulsory attendance in seminars.
Forms of Assessment

5-days home exam. The assessment takes the form of a written assignment, an essay, 3000 words (+/-10 %), references not included.

NOTE: Text generated by ChatGPT and other AI text generators is not permitted in the submitted written work

Grading Scale
The grading scale used is A to F. Grade A is the highest passing grade in the grading scale, grade F is a fail.
Assessment Semester
Reading List
The reading list will be available by 1st of December for the spring semester.
Course Evaluation
The course will be evaluated under the Faculty of Psychology's routines for participatory evaluation and UIB's quality assurance system.
Programme Committee
Faculty of Psychology, Department of Health Promotion and Development (HEMIL)
Course Coordinator
Department of Health Promotion and Development (HEMIL)
Course Administrator
Faculty of Psychology, Department of Health Promotion and Development (HEMIL)