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ERIC Number: EJ1197684
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0256-8543
Playing the Festival Queen in Appalachia: Exploring the Influences of Local Culture on Classroom Play
Sherfinski, Melissa; Slocum, Audra
Journal of Research in Childhood Education, v32 n4 p455-471 2018
This case study using ethnographic methods addresses how teachers shape cultural processes related to girlhoods, and the roles of children's play in this dynamic. Poststructuralist theory of the carnival was used to analyze gendered, classed power dynamics within two rural Appalachian preschool classrooms influenced by a popular local festival. The findings indicate that the "feminist" approach to cultivating "good" girls for the community--those who could go to college to gain the capital to support men if needed (and thus the turbulent extractive industries)--did not always have "feminist" effects of equalizing gender roles. It masked a status quo that supported the domination by men and young boys over women and girls, including the classroom teachers and girls in this study. In addition, it supported the myth of the meritocracy and the role(s) of extractive economies in its construction, a narrative that continually excluded the working class from middle-class girls' play spaces. The research suggested that place-based education and teachers' understanding of classed, raced, and gendered tensions related to local community life are important ways of thinking about carnival in the classroom that may support possibilities for shifting power dynamics in play relations.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 530 Walnut Street Suite 850, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Tel: 215-625-8900; Fax: 215-207-0050; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Preschool Education; Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: West Virginia