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  • 1. Hedlin, Maria
    et al.
    Åberg, Magnus
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Centrum för genusforskning (from 2013).
    Principle or dialogue: Preschool directors speak about how they handle parents’ suspicions towards men2019In: Power and Education, ISSN 1757-7438, E-ISSN 1757-7438, Vol. 11, no 1, p. 85-95Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Caring for children and teaching the youngest students have a strong historical connection to women and femininity. The few men working within early childhood education and care occupy an ambivalent position. On the one hand, they often receive a positive reception in preschools; on the other, they are also met with mistrust and suspicion. The suspicion often comes from parents, and their views have come to bear increasing importance. Preschool directors who have men on their staff thus have a dilemma to manage: they must listen to parents’ views at the same time as they have a personnel responsibility towards all their employees. The purpose of the present study is to describe and analyse how preschool directors reason about the parental suspicion and concern that male educators can encounter because they are men. The empirical material consists of interviews with 10 preschool directors (five women and five men). The study shows that preschool directors experience that parents want male personnel to refrain from performing certain tasks in the preschool. Some of the directors take a principle-based approach and emphasise that men and women should carry out the same work duties. Other directors maintain a dialogue-based approach, focusing on conducting a dialogue with concerned parents.

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