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Mapping the fabricated identity of childminders: pride and prejudice

Jones, Liz and Osgood, Jayne (2007) Mapping the fabricated identity of childminders: pride and prejudice. Contemporary issues in early childhood, 8 (4). pp. 289-300. ISSN 1463-9491

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Abstract

The principal aim of this article is to highlight how childminders come to be both valorised and demonised. The question of not only who cares for the child but the ‘quality’ of such care is of course inextricably linked with the identity of the carer. The article focuses on and illustrates the means by which the identity of childminders is fabricated through text. It is by deconstructing certain texts that we discern how it is possible for a particular group of workers to be perceived in both positive and negative terms and importantly what some of the outcomes are when individuals are constructed in such ways. The article is framed within post-structuralist theories regarding language, meaning and identity and draws upon post-colonial theory, Foucault’s work in relation to discourse as well as Derrida’s insights into the ways in which texts function. Additionally the article takes note of and is sensitive to feminist discourses where the gendered performances of everyday living have been inscribed by sedimented layers of history, culture, economics and so on. Finally, given the authors’ own positions as cultural workers within the field of early years, they perceive this article as being a part of the continuing conversation that is located around a new sociology of early childhood.

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