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ERIC Number: EJ1174149
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Apr
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0020-7187
Exploring the Phenomenology of Whiteness in a Swedish Preschool Class
Schwarz, Eva; Lindqvist, Beatriz
International Journal of Early Childhood, v50 n1 p1-14 Apr 2018
This article explores how constructions of identity, race and difference permeate and are challenged in a Swedish preschool class. The study is informed by theories of phenomenology and critical whiteness. Data are drawn from a larger ethnographic study conducted in an ethnically diverse preschool. The purpose of the study was to explore how preschool teachers manage and reflect upon the construction of children's social identity within the institution of a preschool. This report considers one incident relating to racial identity. It began with a child's representation, the boy named Stanley, in a self-portrait: 'I want to be white and blonde when I grow up… I want to be like Oscar, not a black boy.' Within this article we consider teachers' reflections on this incident, discussing how 'whiteness' is performed, constructed and interrogated by young children and adults in the preschool and uncovering a certain institutional 'colour blindness.' In this example 'race' announces itself and the children make it visible as an existing category in their everyday life. Children's drawings and narratives reveal much about the implicit understandings and norms that surround them, pointing to teachers' responsibilities for exploring the possibilities and limitations offered in preschool education to deal with these understandings.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Sweden
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A