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Barn, linjaler och andra aktörer: Posthumanistiska perspektiv på subjektskapande och materialitet i förskola/skola
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
2011 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
Children, rulers and other actors : Posthumanist perspectives on subjectivity and materiality in pre-school and school (English)
Abstract [en]

This thesis examines the interaction between nonhuman materiality and the construction of subjectivity in pedagogical practices. The starting point is that children are constantly engaged in significant relations, not only to other humans but also to nonhuman matter, and that nonhuman materiality such as pedagogical material, toys and furniture partake and play an important role in the construction of children’s subjectivities. However, most theories that are being used in educational research with a focus on subjectivity take on a notion that renders nonhuman materiality as passive, and as firmly subordinated humans or language. In order to take into account how nonhuman materiality can be understood as a constitutive force I turn to and investigate a posthumanist perspective that conceptualize agency and performative qualities as a property, not only of humans but also of nonhuman materiality (Barad 1997; Bennett 2004, 2005, 2007; Pickering 1995, 2005). Among the different theoretical frameworks and concepts available that shares these understandings I especially focus on concepts developed in actor- network theory (Callon 1986; Latour 1992; 1999a, 1999b, 2005; Law 2002, 2004). In four research articles I put these concepts to work in relation to pieces of empirical data from pedagogical practices in order to investigate how subjectivity is constituted by the interplay between humans and nonhumans. From these four articles I conclude that a posthumanist perspective in which the  world is conceptualized as constitutive and performative can intensify and broaden the insights made from post structural and social constructionist perspectives, which have focused on language as a constitutive force. I further discuss how a posthumanist perspective gives way to an understanding of children’s relations to nonhumans in terms of communication, mutual transformations and translations that changes both humans and nonhumans.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Education, Stockholm University , 2011. , 89 p.
Series
Doktorsavhandlingar från Institutionen för pedagogik och didaktik, 10
Keyword [en]
subjectivity, nonhuman materiality, posthumanism, actor-network theory, posthuman performativity, pedagogical practices
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-63413ISBN: 978-91-7447-392-6 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-63413DiVA: diva2:448788
Public defence
2011-11-18, Magnélisalen, Kemiska övningslaboratoriet, Svante Arrhenius väg 16 B, Stockholm, 10:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
Förskolan som jämställdhetspolitisk arena 1970-2008
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: Accepted. Paper 4: Submitted.

Available from: 2011-10-27 Created: 2011-10-18 Last updated: 2015-10-20Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. A posthumanist deconstruction of gendered matematical subjectivitites
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A posthumanist deconstruction of gendered matematical subjectivitites
2009 (English)In: International Journal for Equity and Innovation in Early Childhood, ISSN 1448-6318, Vol. 7, no 2, 16-27 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-53679 (URN)
Projects
Förskolan som jämställdhetspolitisk arena 1970-2008
Available from: 2011-01-24 Created: 2011-01-24 Last updated: 2011-10-26Bibliographically approved
2. Making matter matter as a constitutive force in children's subjectivities
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Making matter matter as a constitutive force in children's subjectivities
(English)In: Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, ISSN 1463-9491, E-ISSN 1463-9491Article in journal (Refereed) Accepted
Abstract [en]

The starting point of this article is that we are constantly engaged in significant relations, not only to other humans, but also to nonhuman matter. I argue that contemporary educational research often do not sufficiently acknowledge how material components matters in the ongoing production of gendered subjectivities. Even though theoretical perspectives such as social constructionism and post structuralism offer a view on the subject as contextual and situational, it is rare that this interest take into considerations the material components and conditions. Most often it is the inter-subjective or interpersonal relations, and the discourses that lay down the conditions or make possible these relations, that are being understood as the context from which the child emerges. Nonhuman matter is most often not mentioned at all. In this article I will explore the relations between children and nonhuman materiality. My empirical material consists of memories from preschools, narrated and put into writing by a group of adult researchers using the methodology of collective biography. By analyzing these stories/memories, with the help of a number of concepts and ideas that can be understood as related to a posthumanist theoretical perspective, I want to show how things that we traditionally consider as passive or dead, as dots on the floor, dolls and furniture, can be regarded as forces that plays an important role as constitutive actors in children’s gendered subjectivities.  

National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-63410 (URN)
Projects
Förskolan som jämställdhetspolitisk arena 1970-2008
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2011-10-18 Created: 2011-10-18 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved
3. Challenging anthropocentric analysis of visual data: A relational materialist methodological approach to educational research
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Challenging anthropocentric analysis of visual data: A relational materialist methodological approach to educational research
2010 (English)In: QSE. International journal of qualitative studies in education, ISSN 0951-8398, E-ISSN 1366-5898, Vol. 23, no 5, 525-542 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this paper is to challenge the habitual anthropocentric gaze we use when analysing educational data, which takes human beings as the starting-point and centre, and gives humans a self-evident higher position above other matter in reality. By enacting analysis of photographic images from a preschool playground, using a relational materialist methodological approach, we put to work concepts that open up possibilities to understand the child as emergent in a relational field, where nonhuman forces are equally at play in constituting children’s learning and becomings. In the second part of the paper, we discuss how the decentring of the child may also be applied to researchers as producers of knowledge. Such a decentring, where the data itself is considered to have a constitutive force and working upon the researcher as much as the researcher works upon the data, has both methodological and ethical consequences for research.

Keyword
anthropocentrism, relational materialism, feminist poststructuralism, research-ethics, Gilles Deleuze, Felix Guattari, Karen Barad, Claire Colebrook, Elizabeth Grosz
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-53515 (URN)
Projects
Förskolan som jämställdhetspolitisk arena 1970-2008
Available from: 2011-01-24 Created: 2011-01-24 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved
4. The social and competent child as co-produced by nonhuman actors
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The social and competent child as co-produced by nonhuman actors
(English)In: Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, ISSN 1463-9491, E-ISSN 1463-9491Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

In this article I argue that competent children at all times are co-produced by nonhuman matter. Drawing on a relational materialist perspective I discuss how not only humans but also nonhumans can articulate propositions and partake in an ongoing choreography of the world. I will present a piece of pedagogical documentation of children involved in an investigative project and suggest an analysis of this pedagogical documentation that  takes into consideration how the children are situated in a messy material world or, as Andrew Pickering (1995) puts it; in “a mangle” where heterogeneous actors make agency and action possible. This entails a troubling of a social constructionist perspective that seldom considers the agency of the nonhuman (Prout 2005). However, as I discuss, a relational materialist perspective can also be understood as an intensification of social constructionism, in that that not only humans, but also nonhumans participates as negotiating actors in the ongoing construction of reality.

National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-63412 (URN)
Projects
Förskolan som jämställdhetspolitisk arena 1970-2008
Available from: 2011-10-18 Created: 2011-10-18 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved

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