Förskolan som normaliseringspraktik En etnografisk studie
Sammanfattning: This thesis is an ethnographic exploration of institutions for small children, i.e. the pre-school institution.The overall aim of the study is to investigate what is characteristic for some Swedish preschoois,and how childhood is formulated and realized within those institutions. Of centralimportance are questions. which concern how pre-schools are constructed, negotiated andmaintained by the actors within the pre-school settings. Another aim is to explore contemporarymeanings of pre-school and pre-school children as they appear in interviews and everyday talk. Thedata were collected by participant observations for almost one year in two pre-schools. Data consistof audio- recordings of everyday life and parental talks, interviews with children, pre-schoolteachers and parents. Points of departure are ideas from interactionism and social constructionism.The analyses draw upon concepts from integrative theories; agency-structure, social practice, socialorder and normality in relation to the institution.The results show that pre-school is takcn for granted and is almost considercd as compulsory andpart of normal childhood. Pre-school is legitimated as an interest of and a question for society,families and parents, but also in the best interest of children here and now and for the future. Inaddition, pre-school is also understood as a social and a social pedagogical question for individualsand for society. Moreover, the study shows howeveryday life in pre-school is zoned andpedagogized in time and space. The institution is characterized by schedules, routines and predefinedrooms and artifacts, as weil as by planned activities and unplanned, occasional and situatedactivities, respectively. Children and adults have to deal with the social order of the institution, andthis study shows that the actors constantly break and negotiate the social order - they are doing preschool.The institutions and the interactions are characterized by complexitics and hybridities andthere are different activitics and discourses in action at the same time. This also concerns theintermediate domain between private and public and the relations between parents and pedagogues.None of them are in controi of children's everyday life, and they have to share information. viewsand sometimes also decisions. Parents have to contribute to the construction of a pre-school chiid,by delivering a child ready for prc-school, a chiId with certain competences. In everyday activitiesand in parental talks, the adults articulate and negotiate the picture of a "normal" pre-school chiId,i.c. demands related to a situated institutionaI normality . The study shows how children act indifferent ways in relation to social context and social order in different situations. They act as "normal pre-schoolchildren" but they also construct their own social order in relation to theinstitution, alone or together with other children and adults.
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