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Objects of conflict: (Re) configuring early childhood experiences of gender in the preschool classroom

This qualitative research paper discusses how the material environment of preschool classrooms contributes to early childhood experiences of gender. It applies poststructuralist and posthumanist concepts -- primarily Barad's agential-realism -- to analyse ethnographic data extracts drawn from the author's semi-longitudinal study in a UK nursery. This data focuses on two specific areas of the classroom, the 'home corner' and the 'small world', and the paper argues that these areas and the objects contained within them can support or challenge/queer gender roles depending on temporal material-discursive conditions. It concludes with specific thinking points for practitioners, arguing that applying these theoretical concepts to explore gender in the early years produces interesting perspectives on how rigid, binary gender roles can be challenged effectively in non-discursive ways within classrooms. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
Wales; United Kingdom

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