Conversation Groups for Children of Divorced Parents – an Emerging Social Representation for a New Service in Schools

  • Pernelle Rose Aarhus University
  • Ditte A. Winther-Lindqvist Aarhus University
Keywords: Defense Tactics, Social Representations, Children of Divorce, Conversation Groups


This article analyses the social representations (henceforth, SR) of children of divorced parents in connection to conversation groups. This is a new practice, with no prior tradition at dansih schools, and requires investment and reseources to convince other professionals about the necessity of this intervention. In such a new field of practice, meanings and rationales are contested and fuzzy. Thus, when it comes to establishing these conversation groups, basic assumptions about what children need, what the school´s role should be, and what the teacher´s role and responsibilities are, is discussed and debated. alex Gillespie (2020 in press) argues that people become defensive when they meet challenges to their existing worldview and convictions. He calls these disturbances `disruptive meanings`. He proposes an analytical model to identify defense tactics at three interconnected levels: organizational, interpersonal and intrapersonal. Using this analytical framework on professionals for this role show various defense strategies at play to avoid disruptive meanings of this new service, and to defend the intervention program. Both hegemonic and emancipated SR (Moscovici 1988) of the needs of children of divorced parents appear when professionals argue, which seems to inform the practices and interpretation of children in the conversation groups.

Author Biographies

Pernelle Rose, Aarhus University

PERNELLE ROSE is Ph.D. and external lecturer at Danish School of Education, Aarhus University, Denmark. Research interests: social psychology, childhood studies, divorce and interventions.


Ditte A. Winther-Lindqvist, Aarhus University

DITTE WINTHER-LINDQVIST is Ph.D. and associate professor at Danish School of Education, Aarhus University, Denmark. Research interests: developmental psychology, ECEC, play, relationships, care, crisis, grief.


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