Health Professionals

"Doing health" - an ethnographic study on (care) practices during pregnancy and the first year of a child's life

What are we researching?

The overarching aim of Doing Health is to examine social practices around our understandings of healthy waking in young children, their families and professional carers. We are therefore interested in which cultural ideas and practices determine growing up and how different forms of knowledge interact with each other in social practices of healthy waking up. Doing Health thus analyses how knowledge and behaviours about a child's good environment are negotiated and reproduced in the lives of young families. 

Study objectives

What are the aims of the project?

1. to analyse how different forms of knowledge come together to shape family care practices;

2. to describe the complex systemic forces in which health practices are embedded and to understand how expert knowledge is reflected in or modified by other forms of knowledge;

3. expand understanding of how medical information, allergy prevention information and tactile, everyday knowledge interact in structuring families' care practices.

How do we conduct research?

In order to achieve the study objectives, we are conducting an ethnographic study in three regions. We are mapping municipal support structures for young families, collecting information, flyers, social media channels and other material that families use as sources for dealing with their children and for shaping the environment in which their child can/should grow up. This will be supplemented by monitoring paediatricians, midwives and other professionals who support young families, as well as young families themselves. Finally, semi-structured qualitative interviews and citizen science methods are used as elements of participant observation.

What do we contribute?

Doing Health will be able to show how families' understanding, perceptions and practices of allergy prevention and care are creatively linked to the information provided by relevant professionals and institutions and converge into actionable knowledge. This can lead to a deeper understanding of the mechanisms of knowledge transfer processes. By empirically understanding when, how and why families take up and implement allergy prevention, Doing Health can help to understand when, how and why scientific knowledge is translated into everyday practices and thus support the withdrawal of recommendations once they have been made.