Some preliminary steps towards a more integral conceptualization of parental authority Metka Kuhar
Summary: This contribution focuses on the absence of an explicit and integral theoretical and empirical conceptualization of the concept of authority in the developmental literature on parental childrearing practices, as well as a lack of consistency in the application of the concept. The paper shows how selected existing concepts are related to the concept of authority. Drawing on newer pedagogical conceptualizations of authority, it suggests some preliminary steps toward explicit theoretical and empirical elaboration of this concept as relational, dynamic and co-constituted as a joint product of family relationships. The following dimensions of parental authority manifestation processes are set out: development, assertion, implementation and legitimization of parental rules. A shift from automatic, although not necessarily interiorized, compliance with parental or pedagogical authority toward reflective, responsible and dialogic and, therefore, vulnerable authority seems to be an important step in the development of private and public sphere democratization.