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Social Psychology of Education

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 179–194 | Cite as

Power and Participation: Social Representations among Children in Pre-school

  • Annica LöfdahlEmail author
  • Solveig Hägglund
Article

Abstract

Children’s play is usually connected with qualities such as happiness and innocence, and regarded as important and necessary for learning and development. However, play is not always a state of joy. Experiences of being socially excluded or ignored and of taking part in such activities are occurring. The article draws on a re-analysis of empirical data from a study of pre-school children’s play. The focus in the article is directed towards how pre-school children within the context of play communicate and act in relation to social participation and power. The theoretical framework is built upon a socio-cultural research tradition, particularly emphasising context and communication. Interpretive reproduction, secondary adjustment, and social representations are used as additional theoretical concepts in the analyses and discussions of the results. Empirical data show that children’s social representations of power and participation in play include rationales for who can join the play and who can not, and also how to allow exceptions from the main rule that ‘anyone can join’.

Keywords

pre-school children play social order peer-culture social representations 

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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division for Educational SciencesKarlstad UniversityKarlstadSweden

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