Structured looseness: Everyday social order at an Israeli kindergarten

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    In this article, I address notions of social order as these are conveyed to young children in an early education setting. On the basis of an ethnographic account of an Israeli kindergarten, I describe the routine structuring of everyday life at the kindergarten, as well as the ways in which this routine structuring was consistently undermined, primarily by the teacher herself. Specifically, the study shows how the relatively enfeebled routine structuring of daily life facilitated the emergence of alternative models of social order, namely, collective order and personal order embodied by the teacher. The interplay of structure and looseness discerned at the kindergarten is addressed in terms of the institutional distinctiveness of early education settings, as well as with reference to the Israeli sociocultural context. It is suggested that the study of the organization of daily life in early education settings may enrich our understanding of socialization into enduring perceptions of social order and of the sources of its legitimacy.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)367-390
    Number of pages24
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - Sep 2006


    • Children
    • Classroom ethnography
    • Education
    • Israel
    • Kindergarten

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Anthropology
    • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
    • Sociology and Political Science


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