Barriers of sentiment : Identity -formation, -regulation and subjectification in preschools
This thesis studies preschool socialization in terms of identity -formation, -regulation, and subjectification. Both the methodology and theoretical backdrop draws on Critical Management Studies, and the contribution to research comes from studying a subject otherwise non-prioritized. I have performed a qualitative study entailing interviews of pedagogues and preschool chiefs working within the same company in the Stockholm region. The study indicate that preschool discourse emphasize the importance of social competences and rituals, and moreover that the institution also accentuates its role in setting the proper ‘preconditions’. Furthermore, the study demonstrates how pedagogues – using mechanisms such as individual discourses, the children’s agency, and the milieu – try to form individuals who are: social, independent, self-reliant, have a strong ‘self’, joyful towards learning, and ‘can do it themselves’. I make a liaison between the aforementioned ideals and certain trends discussed by managerial literature, like for instance currents towards: self-management, neo-normative control, self-entrepreneurial attitudes, ambidextrousness, and the ‘principle of potential’ (Costea et al., 2012; Fleming & Study, 2009; Holmqvist & Spicer, 2013; Maravelias, 2011; Pongratz & Voß, 2003). Finally the thesis concludes by firstly underscoring that the Discourse of for example ‘joyful learning’ and ‘independency’ in preschools tend to demolish physical modes of control in place of psychological ones; and secondly, by discussing historical practices, the thesis brings attention to a shift from safekeeping children to preparing them for industrial, urbanistic, and capitalistic social existence.
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