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To comprehend the use of power in children's play : A discourse analysis of children's use of power in play, mentioned by preschool teachers

By Karolina Jantz and Viveca Kinnestam


As play is of great importance for children's well-being and development, there is a value in examining it. This study examines children's play from a perspective of power, where the view is that power is a natural feature of the society. The aim of the study is to find out how preschool teachers describe the power that occurs in children's play, which are investigated through the following research questions: What does the preschool teacher describe as the causes of children's exercise of power in play? How does the preschool teacher describe that the power is manifested in children's play? These questions aim to broaden the understanding of what gives influence on children's use of power and what the power is characterized by. The study is based on structured observations through video recording of children's play and semi structured interview conversations in groups with preschool teachers. To illustrate how the power in children's play is mentioned by them, a discourse analysis is applied with approach based on Foucault's perspective. The study makes a link to a cultural perspective within culture and power in children's play, which can contribute to the knowledge of how they express their perception of their environment and what they've developed to understand. The results show that children express the power in different ways and purposes. They use different strategies to get through their will and these are linked to the status they have. Children's use of power with a cultural perspective is illustrated in a model that shows the relationship between their play, power and culture. It describes how the society influences on children, and by the reproducing of culture in their play, it indicates that they are aware of the power structures that they are surrounded by. There is also a small part of their reproductive that develop the culture and society in its long races. Children are therefore formed in relation to each other through their peer-cultures, where norms and knowledge are commonly created. Power is explicitly a step into development and a natural entrance into the adult world.

Topics: Power, preschool, play, peer-culture, social-interaction, communication, knowledge., Pedagogy, Pedagogik
Publisher: Södertörns högskola, Lärarutbildningen
Year: 2018
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