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Adult-initiated touch and its functions at a Swedish preschool: Controlling, affectionate, assisting and educative haptic conduct
Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare, HHJ, Dep. of Behavioural Science and Social Work. Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare, HHJ. SALVE (Social challenges, Actors, Living conditions, reseach VEnue).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6357-6491
Department of Child Studies, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.
2017 (English)In: International Journal of Early Years Education, ISSN 0966-9760, E-ISSN 1469-8463Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

The present study examines adult–child touch and its functions in a Swedish preschool (for 1 to 5-year-old children). The data are naturalistic observations and video-recorded data of everyday preschool activities. The study describes the frequently occurring functions of educators’ haptic conduct (control, affectionate, affectionate-control, assisting and educative touch), discussing them in relation to the children's age, gender and type of the preschool activity. It reveals the complexity of touch, demonstrating that physical contact is used for a variety of purposes in the educators’ daily work. The educators employed touch without force, and the children did not respond with explicit and forceful resistance (such as pushing back or otherwise protesting). Adult-initiated haptic behaviour served a continuum of social purposes – from social–relational work, such as establishing and building affectively positive, caring, social relations, to practical and educative organisational efforts to manage the complex and busy preschool life. The distribution of adult–child touch categories brings attention to the bodily aspects of the early childhood educational setting and highlights some of the ways in which the requirements of the Swedish curriculum for Preschool and its focus on educare are actualised in the educators’ embodied conduct.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2017.
Keywords [en]
Adult–child interactions, touch, early childhood education, educare, embodiment
National Category
Social Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-37844DOI: 10.1080/09669760.2017.1414690ISI: XYZScopus ID: 2-s2.0-85039171349OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-37844DiVA, id: diva2:1155712
Available from: 2017-11-09 Created: 2017-11-09 Last updated: 2018-01-05

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CiteExportLink to record
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  • apa
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More styles
Language
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