Intersectionality and leadership at preschool

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Intersectionality and leadership at preschool

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Publication 2-year master student thesis
Title Intersectionality and leadership at preschool
Author(s) Einhärjar, Soodabeh
Date 2016
English abstract
The present study examines how four to six-years-old children chose one or several leaders during their play time and what factors affected children's choice/ choices using an intersectional perspective. The purpose of this study is to explore how children negotiate with each other to control the play and choose one or several leaders of the group. The methods used were observations along with shorter interviews with the participating children. The study group consisted of preschool children, four to six years old in two different classes. The observations took place during the time the children were playing. I used a thematic analysis with the following variables: gender, age, language development, children's special needs / disability and ethnicity. One of the variable that influenced the children's choice of leaders was the children's ethnicity. Those children who had non-Swedish parents (although they spoke fluent Swedish) were not elected as leaders of the group. Disability was also among the factors that made children have less power when they played. Age and gender were also factors that created the power relationships in the group. The result also showed two new categories that could affect how the children chose their leaders. The first category was that most leaders had better knowledge about the play than the other children who participated in the play. It turned out that being new to the preschool could be counted as the second new category that created the power relationship between the children. As a result of being new to the preschool, the newcomers were considered by the children to know less about the rules of the play which may be related to the first variable, knowledge of the play. In answer to the question concerning the number of leaders in the group, I could tell that there was only one who was the leader and who had the most influence during the play. There could be two who decided the rules and who had knowledge about the play, but in the end there was just one leader. The study shows that there is an interaction between the different categories / variables that create power relations in the group. According to the intersectional perspective the interaction between different categories such as gender, age, ethnicity, language, disability would create such power relations. The study concludes that knowledge about the play and being new to the group/preschool could also be regarded as two new categories important for setting up and balancing power relations.
Publisher Malmö högskola/Lärande och samhälle
Pages 57
Language swe (iso)
Subject(s) Ethnicity
Power relationships
Being new in the group/ at the preschool
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