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Children's encounters with things: schooling the body

Jones, Liz (2013) Children's encounters with things: schooling the body. Qualitative inquiry, 19 (8). pp. 604-610. ISSN 1077-8004

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Abstract

This article draws on work around matter and the material in order to examine how (extra)ordinary “things” are used to (re)produce formulaic and predictable performances within the context of an early years classroom. Using ethnographic data I focus on a series of encounters where oscillations between (in)animate objects and the child work at schooling the body. I also note how the “work” of things constitutes a point of tension where on the one hand they are implicated in discourses of normalization yet simultaneously work at “othering.” The article also argues that despite their coercive propensities children’s relationships with and through material things can open up possibilities for dislocating sedimented pedagogical practices where “something else” becomes possible.

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