Babies and their everyday culture

What is everyday culture for a newly born? I explore how babies are using and engaging in culture in their everyday life and what it means to talk about babyculture in relation to babies own cultural practices.

In my research I am interested in babies between 0 and 1,5 years of age and how they use and orient themselves in relation to cultural practices and objects in their everyday life. I am interested in exploring how culture becomes visible in babies life through looking at what the babies themselves are doing with culture. There is definitely an interest in baby culture in society considering all the cultural activities that are offered families with babies in most large cities in Sweden. Examples of baby culture can range from more organized activities like baby theatre or baby dance, to less organized activities like the library putting out the masquerade costumes on Saturdays or arranging singing for babies in the afternoon, but also, all that more or less unplanned is happening at home with everything from Ipads, pointing books and good night lullabies. Babies today, are involved in, and are using culture in many and varying forms.  

Why is it important to study babies’ everyday culture?

Most research on babies has been carried out from psychological, medical and educational perspectives and it is therefore also important to research babies from a cultural perspective. Research about babies everyday life can also contribute with a broader understanding  of babies own engagement and use of culture than when we only study cultural objects or activities aimed at babies.  

Babies’ participation in research

In my research I also want to ask important questions about how children are included in research and what it means to talk about children’s voice, children’s participation, and children’s perspective. How can we talk about these concepts when conducting research with children that do not speak yet? How can we include babies in research even though we cannot verbally communicate with them?

Visual ethnographic research

I am conducting visual ethnographic research with babies and families in Sweden and I am also interested in questions concerning how we can develop methods for opening up for children’s engagement in research even before they begin to speak. 

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CV in short


  • 2014
    PhD student at Tema barn since januari
  • 2013
    Master in Gender studies, Södertörns university
  • 2011
    Bachelor in Gender studies, Södertörns university



  • 2013
    Research assisting work in the research project ”Frozen Assets: An Intersectional Study of Egg Banking, Gender and Reproductive Ageing.”, Södertörns university

Research interest

  • Babies everyday life
  • Babies cultural practices
  • Family, kinship and reproductive technologies
  • Ethnographic methods


Orrmalm Auran, Alex (2019) "Culture by babies: Imagining everyday material culture through babies’ engagements with socks". Sage Journals. 

Orrmalm Auran, Alex (2013) ”Från pre-human till post-human: Embryots reproduktiva status i skärningspunkten mellan stat och medicin”, Masteruppsats i Genusvetenskap, Södertörns högskola/Institutionen för kultur och lärande.

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