8. Religion, Parenting and Child Corporal Punishment: An Example of the Twelve Tribes
Liselotte Frisk† [+]
Dalarna University, Sweden
Corporal punishment of children is a controversial subject. Many countries in the world have relatively recently legislated against this child-rearing practice. This chapter discusses the practice of corporal punishment in child rearing in historical perspective. This will be discussed from the Swedish perspective, as Sweden was the first country to legislate against the practice and is the country where our interviews about growing up in minority religions were taken. The theoretical perspective introduced by the Norwegian psychologist, Karsten Hundeide, which relates the sociocultural frames concerning child rearing and the concepts “contract” and “metacontract” between child and caretaker, will be used. The Twelve Tribes and their approach to childrearing and parenting, and specifically their practice of discipline ("spanking"), will be described as an example of a religious group defending and practicing these methods. The Twelve Tribes does not exist in Sweden, and the main data for this paper was gathered during field visits to the Twelve Tribes in Klosterzimmern in Germany, in Czech Republic, and in Devon, Great Britain.