Med blicken på barnet: Om olikheter inom förskolan som diskursiv praktik

Translated title of the contribution: With the gaze on the child: About differences in preschool as a discursive practice

Linda Palla

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)

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The aim of the thesis is to highlight how children are created as subjects when their behaviour puzzles, worries or challenges staff in preschool, and how scope for, or limitations to, the children's opportunities to be, know or act differently thereby emerge. An additional purpose is to shed light on how suggestions for ways of managing and, in Foucault’s sense, governing the children and their behaviour are formulated as a discursive practice in special education contexts at preschool. The study is primarily based on meetings between staff and special educators, as well as texts produced in relation to such meetings.
The analysis shows how the discursive practice constructs images of what is considered as special, based on what has appeared as significant in the gaze of the staff. The child is constructed as a multiple subject, grouped in five main topics. These are: the child as growing and developmental, the child as regulated, the child as transparent and measurable, the child as confident and routinized, and the child as deficient.
The results give an understanding of how preschool offers or assigns children different identities in relation to the normalizing practice, where both homogeneity and heterogeneity are of significance. The preschool works with governing techniques, such as time and routines, space and materials, body and play. A clear desire for the child to be able to regulate itself is also seen. The observed discursive practice creates some latitude for children in preschool to be, know and act differently, as long as the variation doesn’t become too pronounced, permanent, or extensive in relation to age, or violate too many of the preschool routines and rules.
Translated title of the contributionWith the gaze on the child: About differences in preschool as a discursive practice
Original languageSwedish
Awarding Institution
  • Faculty of Social Sciences
  • Tvingstedt, Anna-Lena, Supervisor, External person
  • Assarson, Inger, Supervisor, External person
  • Rosenqvist, Jerry, Supervisor, External person
Award date2011 Sep 23
Print ISBNs978-91-86295-14-1
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Bibliographical note

Defence details
Date: 2011-09-23
Time: 13:15
Place: D 138, Malmö högskola
External reviewer(s)
Name: Bergstedt, Bosse
Title: [unknown]
Affiliation: Sociologiska institutionen, Lunds universitet

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Pedagogy


  • child
  • differences
  • documentation
  • governing
  • identities
  • power
  • preschool
  • special education
  • subject
  • subjectivation
  • post structuralism


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