1st Edition

Exploring Materiality in Childhood Body, Relations and Space

Edited By Maarit Alasuutari, Marleena Mustola, Niina Rutanen Copyright 2021
    198 Pages
    by Routledge

    198 Pages
    by Routledge

    Exploring Materiality in Childhood: Body, Relations and Space explores the multiple ways that childhood and materiality are intertwined and assembled. Bringing together a diverse range of authors, this topical book makes a scholarly contribution to our understanding of the entanglements of materiality and childhoods in international contexts.

    Chapters explore how various environments and material resources, including technologies and consumer goods, affect children’s lives. The book caters to a diverse range of theories, in sociomaterialist, posthumanist, post-anthropocentric and more-than-human research, critically exploring the boundaries of these theoretical approaches with diverse empirical cases. These wide ranges of perspectives develop alternatives to human-centred approaches in understanding children and childhoods. With its diverse theoretical and methodological choices, the book also serves as a versatile example for how to conduct research with children and on childhood. 

    This book will be of great interest for academics, researchers, and postgraduate students in childhood studies, early childhood education, social sciences, cultural sciences and sociology.


    Introduction: Toward a Material Study of Childhood

    Part 1: Body, embodiment, and materiality

    1. Becoming unruly? Bodies and materials in a primary classroom

    Paulina Semenec

    2. Embodying discipline: Remembering bodies and cultural values in Chinese kindergartens

    Ida Marie Lyså

    3.From ‘Drilling’ to ‘Thrilling’: French Toilet Training Literature and the Child’s Body

    Victoria Chantseva

    Part 2: Materiality in/as relations

    4.Connected play as intra-action: Doing CupSong with YouTube

    Herdis Toft

    5. The web service Wilma as an actant in school life – student perspective

    Anu Alanko & Maarit Alasuutari

    6. Schoolbags and schoolchildren between school and family

    Karen Ida Dannesboe

    7. Thrown into and out of togetherness – children’s experiences of living apart from, with and in multi-local families

    Ida Wentzel Winther

    Part 3: Space, environment and materiality

    8. Affordances for children’s playfulness as they walk through urban spaces

    Maja Brzozowska-Brywczyńska

    9. Journeys through space: The interplay of mobility, materiality and social life in early childhood centre

    Ann Pairman

    10.Young children’s participation as a living practice: the role of material and emotional relations during the transition to primary school

    Caralyn Blaisdell & Teresa Bolger

    11. ‘(Do not) touch’. ‘(Do not) run’. – On Bodies’ Plasticities: Curation and Exhibition Design with/for Children in Art Museums

    Antoneli Matos Belli Sinder

    12. Conclusion


    Maarit Alasuutari is Professor of Early Childhood Education at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. Her field of study includes childhood studies, parent-professional collaboration, early childhood education policy and documentation in early education.

    Marleena Mustola is Senior Lecturer of Early Childhood Education at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. She specialises in multidisciplinary childhood studies and her current research interests include children’s rights and participation, posthuman philosophy and childhoods in social media.

    Niina Rutanen is Professor in Early Childhood Education at the Faculty of Education and Psychology, University of Jyväskylä, Finland. Her research focuses mainly on transitions in early childhood education and pedagogies for infants and toddlers.