Pedagogy of healthcare interactions. A study on pediatric well-child visits as culture-oriented and culture-making sites

Ranzani, Federica (2023) Pedagogy of healthcare interactions. A study on pediatric well-child visits as culture-oriented and culture-making sites, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze pedagogiche, 35 Ciclo.
Documenti full-text disponibili:
[img] Documento PDF (English) - Accesso riservato fino a 14 Maggio 2026 - Richiede un lettore di PDF come Xpdf o Adobe Acrobat Reader
Disponibile con Licenza: Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives 4.0 (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) .
Download (2MB) | Contatta l'autore


This study investigates interactions between parents and pediatricians during pediatric well-child visits. Despite constituting a pivotal moment for monitoring and evaluating children’s development during the critical ‘first thousand days of life’ and for family support, no study has so far empirically investigated the in vivo realization of pediatrician-parent interactions in the Italian context, especially not from a pedagogical perspective. Filling this gap, the present study draws on a corpus of 23 videorecorded well-child visits involving two pediatricians and twenty-two families with children aged between 0 and 18 months. Combining an ethnographic perspective and conversation analysis theoretical-analytical constructs, the micro-analysis of interactions reveals how well-child visits unfold as culture-oriented and culture-making sites. By zooming into what actually happens during these visits, the analysis shows that there is much more than the “mere” accomplishment of institutionally relevant activities like assessing children’s health or giving parents advice on baby care. Rather, through the interactional ways these institutional tasks are carried out, parents and pediatricians presuppose, ratify, and transmit culturally-informed models of “normal” growth, “healthy” development, “good” caring practices, and “competent” parenting, thereby enacting a pervasive yet unnoticed educational and moral work. Inaugurating a new promising line of inquiry within Italian pedagogical research, this study illuminates how a) pediatricians work as a “social antenna”, bridging families’ private “small cultures” and broader socio-cultural models of children’s well-being and caregiving practices, and b) parents act as agentive, knowledgeable, (communicatively) competent, and caring parents, while also sensitive to the pediatrician’s ultimate epistemic and deontic authority. I argue that a video-based, micro-analysis of interactions represents a heuristically powerful instrument for raising pediatricians’ and parents’ awareness of the educational and moral density of well-child visits. Insights from this study can constitute a valuable empirical resource for underpinning medical and parental training programs aimed at fostering pediatricians’ and parents’ reflexivity.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Ranzani, Federica
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Pediatric visits; Pedagogy of health; Pediatrician-parent interaction; Child care; Conversation analysis; Video-based research; Medical education; Family education
Data di discussione
15 Giugno 2023

Altri metadati

Gestione del documento: Visualizza la tesi