Wednesday 9 February 2022, 3.00PM to 4.00pm
Speaker(s): Dr Maddie Breeze, Senior Lecturer, Queen Margaret University
Using Foucauldian and Butlerian conceptions of gender as a form of disciplinary power, the paper aims to portray how practitioners and children construct and navigate particular (gendered) disciplinary relations of power in ECEC settings, and in doing so perpetuate, and sometimes challenge, gender stereotypes/norms, through their interactions with each other. A total of 17 ECEC classrooms were observed for up to one week each in the cities of Tianjin, Hong Kong, and Edinburgh. Each of those classrooms had a male and at least one female practitioner working on a regular basis with young children (2-6). Findings from the observations reveal that gender is unavoidably salient in the daily interactions of practitioners and children, as is the pervasiveness of gender as a technology of power in the Foucauldian sense. Through practitioner-child interactions, the power of dominant gender discourses is reproduced through using gender as a category to normalise particular aspects of children’s (and adult practitioners’) performances in ECEC classrooms. We therefore propose a hybrid of gender-sensitive and interactive approaches to promoting gender diversity and challenging gender norms. Such approaches may facilitate practitioner knowledge and reflexivity in relation to gender as a disciplinary form of power, and further facilitate ways in which dominant gender discourses can be subverted, challenged and changed in ECEC and in wider social contexts.
Location: via Zoom, see Eventbrite link