Parenting and the Harry Potter stories: a social care perspective

Seden, Janet (2002). Parenting and the Harry Potter stories: a social care perspective. Children and Society, 16(5) pp. 295–305.



This paper analyses the capacities of the parents in the Harry Potter stories, written by J. K. Rowling, from a social care perspective. It argues that there is a synergy between what the social sciences have discovered about 'good enough parenting' and the insights that can be gathered from entering the imaginative world of literature. This is illustrated by a discussion of the qualities of the parents and parent substitutes in the four books published between 1997 and 2000. It concludes that fictional experiences of childhood create empathy in the reader and enable us to confront the need for imagination as parents and practitioners, while the social sciences keep knowledge grounded and evidenced.

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