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Us and them - children’s identity work and social geography in a Swedish school yard
Department of Social Work, University of Stockholm.
2009 (English)In: Ethnography and Education, ISSN 1745-7823, E-ISSN 1745-7831, Vol. 4, no 1, 1-16 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The article focusses on constructions of social identities in school and how children in their identity work (re-)construct common and segregated places in the school yard. Data were drawn from an ethnographic research in the daily lives of children aged 11-13. The fieldwork consisted of traditional ethnographic field work as well as children's own narratives in the form of photographs and maps. Children's agency and narratives are seen as identity performances and simple questions, like where children like to spend their time (or not), what their favourite places are, what activities they do and who they do them together with, have provided insight into the complexity of the processes of identity work as well as of segregation. The analyses focus on how the children use and refer to different places in their identity work, while constructing 'we-in-our-class' in the 'King' pitch, best friends, as well as 'us' in relation to 'them'. The result shows how identity work is situated and takes place in places that invite participation in various activities, but is also constructed by the children and their agency.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 4, no 1, 1-16 p.
Keyword [en]
children, ethnography, narratives, identity work, social geography, school yard
National Category
Social Work
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-139554DOI: 10.1080/17457820802703457OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-139554DiVA: diva2:381633
Available from: 2010-12-29 Created: 2010-12-28 Last updated: 2013-01-04

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Gustafson, Katarina
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