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Ritualisations in Parent-Child Interactions

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The article focuses on how a dialectical relationship between empirical research and theological normativity can and should influence the design of an empirical study at important points of the planning process. It draws on a systems view of scientific activity proposed as a working model for family research by Lavee & Dollahite (1991). Many decisions, each connected with norms and values, have to be taken with regard to the selection of the research topic, the theoretical and methodological approaches and the application of research findings. Besides normativity rooted in consensual knowledge of the scientific community, reflective theological normativity can deploy a critical and disclosive power as is demonstrated in the article with regard to a research project centering on the theme of bedtime ritualisations in parent-child interactions, their intergenerational transmission and their relationship to the institutionalised ritual of baptism.

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