Kramar, kategoriseringar och hjälpfröknar. Könskonstruktioner i interaktion i förskola, förskoleklass och skolår ett

Sammanfattning: In the present study, gender constructions are analysed, as they appear in a preschool, two preschool classes and one class in the first grade. The analysis is based on observations of the interaction that takes place physically and verbally between children and between children and adults in various contexts. Theoretically, this dissertation takes its starting-point in the as¬sumption that gender relations vary with the context, which enables multiple forms of femininities and masculinities. This dissertation consists of two studies based on different empirical data. In the first study, video recordings from the FISK project [The Preschool and School in Collaboration Project] are analysed and takes its starting-point in conversation analysis (CA). The second study consists of data produced from a separate fieldwork carried out in one preschool class, for which I am personally responsible. The fieldwork has an ethnographic approach, as I studied the daily activities of the preschool class for a lengthy period of time. Since the study aims to study constructions of gender in educational institutions, I found Connell particularly applicable as he refers to gender patterns as the gender regime of an institution. In the present study, the analysis is focused on constructions of gender as they occur in school interaction, using Connell for discussion at the global and institutional levels. To further understand these processes at an institutional level, Thorne’s work on borderwork and crossing was applied to the study. Conversation analytical theories were used on the first study to analyse the gender structures as they emerge in interaction at the micro level. As shown both in previous research and in the results of the present study, order and discipline are important parts of the daily routines in preschools, preschool classes and primary schools. One way of maintain order and discipline in preschools, preschool-classes and primary schools are by using sub-teachers. In the present study, I argue that what in pre¬vious research is defined as a sub-teacher consists of different functions where gender constructions emerge in different ways. In the present study, I also analyse and discuss the importance of non-verbal actions. The analysis shows that these actions are important recourses of how gender is expressed. What differs from previous research is that boys hug each other and talk about love. Overall, there are few studies that discuss the importance of bodily interaction, which is why the results of this dissertation ought to be considered as new. In the children’s conversations, body, intimacy and love are topics that occur quite often in their conversations. When talking about love, the children refer to persons of the other sex, so by strictly referring to other sex the children are part of constructing the heterosexual hegemony. Gender boundaries are also strengthened by the teachers’ categorisations of the children. On the whole, the analysis shows that the teachers’ use of gendered categorisations lead to constructions of social hierarchies based on gender. Also, the children are part of this in their use of categorisations in child-to-child interactions as a way of positioning themselves.

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