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Fussy girls and chattering women: The construct and subordination of femininity in preschool teacher training
Linnaeus University.
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Centrum för genusforskning.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8019-2396
2016 (English)In: Early Child Development and Care, ISSN 0300-4430, E-ISSN 1476-8275Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

In Sweden, as in Western countries generally, most preschool teachers are women. This fact sometimes leads to the assumption that preschools are “feminine”, and that this might be bad for boys. We challenge this assumption. Using a gender critical approach we have studied preschool student teachers. “Femininity” might be used as a rhetorical and demeaning stereotype by them. Women and femininity however, are not interchangeable concepts. Failure to acknowledge this can pave the way for subtle sexism against girls and women. Our argument is supported by ethnographic observations and interviews with student teachers. By means of a Foucauldian genealogical analysis we uncover the conditions of possibility for two long-lasting feminine stereotypes. One stereotype argues that young girls should never fuss. The other claims that women are chattering gossipers. Our study shows that these archaic notions persist in Swedish preschool teacher training, despite its long tradition of work for gender equality.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Gender issues, preschool, stereotypes, genealogy, femininities
National Category
Gender Studies Educational Sciences
Research subject
Gender Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-44542DOI: 10.1080/03004430.2016.1211120OAI: diva2:950852
Available from: 2016-08-03 Created: 2016-08-03 Last updated: 2016-08-03Bibliographically approved

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