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Gender formations during 'free play' in pre-school: neutral performance and oppressing practice
Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, Lifelong learning/Encell. Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, School Based Research, Preschool Education Research. (Genuspedagogiska gruppen vid Stockholms universitet)
2008 (English)In: Reconsidering the Basics in Early Childhood Education: abstract book, 2008Conference paper, (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this paper is to illustrate the complexities that are embedded within gender formations and in so doing I try to shift understandings away from current polarities that exist within contemporary Swedish early years provision. By drawing on poststructuralist theories in general and in particular Foucault’s (1977) work concerned with discourse I draw attention to certain pedagogical practices which in my view offer young children an impoverished way of ‘being’ in terms of their gender identities. Additionally I strive to show why these practices have such a profound grip on Swedish practitioners by exposing some of the underpinning presumptions upon which they are predicated including biological theories and development psychology.

The paper describes some of the assumptions that both nourish and sustain one polarity – essentialist notions concerned with sex and gender – before moving to discuss its polar opposite - social constructivism. In part three I describe how data that informs the work, an example of “free play”, was collected before moving on to offer multiple stories that emerge from untangling these. Such deconstructions emerge from feminist appropriations of post-structuralism and queer theories. Finally the paper considers what some of the repercussions are in terms of pedagogical practices when children’s gender identities are considered in terms of being ‘fluid’. It is argued that by making such a shift young people are not only able to ‘perform’ (Butler, 2006) gender in diverse ways but importantly they can become increasingly critical of why certain performances both work at subjugating and oppressing.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008.
Keyword [en]
pre-school, free play, gendered subjectivity, poststructuralist
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-12296OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-12296DiVA: diva2:320689
Conference
European Early Childhood Education Research Association Annual Conference
Available from: 2010-05-26 Created: 2010-05-26 Last updated: 2011-11-03

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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
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Output format
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  • asciidoc
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