Öppna världar, slutna rum : Om status och barnkulturpolitik i scenkonstens vardagspraktik

Sammanfattning: This doctoral thesis is about child culture and status, power and social relations in everyday practice. The aim is to explore the everyday practice within the production of performing arts and problematize what is at stake in the practice with regard to child culture as an artistic field. The research focuses on how the everyday practice is organized, how status-power influences the practice, and lastly, the potential relevance that the everyday practice within the production of performing arts has for understanding child culture as an artistic field. The thesis ethnographically explores the everyday practice of a theater. The fieldwork was performed in a section that produces performing arts for children and young people. The practice is analyzed and interpreted through the practice theory of Theodore Schatzki, Stephen Kemmis et al.’s methodological concept of practice architecture and Theodore Kemper’s theory on status-power. Other important concepts are child culture, culture and childhood. The analysis shows the everyday practice as organized around an artistic objective that is simultaneously artistically and pedagogically oriented. This split orientation of the objective sets the section apart from the other artistic sections within the theater. The artistic objective generates important status for a production aimed at children and young people. However, compared to other sections within the institution, this section has differing material and economical prerequisites, which complicates, and sometimes obstructs, the process of asserting artistic status within the theater. The weaker material and economical arrangements underlines the importance of positive social relatings (Kemmis’ term), social status and the maneuvering of power-relations within the theater, in order to ensure artistic, technical and material resources. The practice appears organized in a practice tradition that displays a firm artistic hierarchy, and this illuminates how what is understood as artistic rather than pedagogical or technical in nature always carries a higher status within the practice. This is significant in the work of the section, since large parts of their production are presented as pedagogical rather than artistic projects, and therefore generate lower artistic status. Yet, the analysis also shows a third kind of policy related status being generated by the production of the section. The section and its production is a central part of legitimizing the production of the theater regarding cultural policy, state bureaucracy and funding. Its production therefore upholds a kind of policy related status within the institution. The analysis reveals three kinds of status in the practice, one social, one artistic and one related to cultural policy. The weaker power position and lower artistic status of child culture creates dependence of visibility within the theater. It also shows child culture and pedagogy as deeply intertwined phenomena, with pedagogy both diluting and obscuring the production of artistic status while simultaneously generating possibilities for the policy related kind of status within the institution. Thus while pedagogy can generate low artistic status, the analysis shows it can also be understood as creating a radical artistic potential within child culture as an artistic field.