Playground chatter on the internet? ‘Leitbilder’ on parenting in a parent online forum


This explorative article contributes to research on models of “good parenting” by analyzing whether current demands of politics, science and advice literature are discussed in a large German parenting online forum. The data consists of 58,240 user submissions to a digital discussion board. Using this digital data, it can not only be analyzed which topics users discuss but also how they negotiate them. With “topic modeling”, an innovative approach from the computational social sciences (CSS), is combined with qualitative content analysis. The article shows that expert knowledge is picked up by users to justify and reflect on their childrearing practices. By and large, parents refer to expert knowledge in a positive manner, however, some authors are viewed rather critically.

In Journal of Family Research