Barns sociala vardagsliv i förskolan.

Skånsfors, L.
Ph.d.-afhandling. Karlstads universitet, Karlstad.


The purpose of this study is to contribute knowledge about children's social skills in a Swedish daycare centre (förskola); both the content of the children's social skills and how these are established and maintained.


Results of the study show that children's social skills are about two aspects: 1) to create and maintain relationships, and 2) to distance themselves from relationships. The children's command of these two aspects constitutes the basis of their ability to deal with, understand and organise their social life, i.e. to enter into a group.

The first aspect is about how children create and maintain relationships on the basis of different social resources and in relation to the context in the kindergarten. In this situation, social resources include specific competences, awareness of age as well as established relationships with other children. Specific competences are also based on artistic and cognitive skills. Access to such resources strengthens and enables a higher status and positions of power, but as the child's competences depend on the specific situation, this implies social flexibility. Children do not have a permanent social position, but they adopt their position continuously in interaction with other children and the context. Social positions are therefore not permanent, but changeable, which is also crucial for the child's social positioning options.

The other aspect, which is about distancing themselves from relationships individually or as a group, is also a key element in coping with and understanding social life. The study shows that there seems to be a tension or a dynamic between children's knowledge and social skills and the social norms explicitly formulated in the context of the specific kindergarten. For instance, the kindergarten's social norms with regard to sense of community for all children, on the one hand, and the children's wish to distance themselves from certain other children on the other. The researcher therefore interprets that social norms constructed by the child can be viewed as resistance towards being part of the community.


The data in this study was collected in a Swedish daycare centre (förskola) over a period of 1½ years from autumn 2007 to summer 2009. A total of 100 hours of data material was collected through observation, video footage and field notes. At total of 20-23 children aged 3-5 years took part in the study. The transcribed data material in the study was analysed phenomenologically, focussing on coherent sequences of events and body language.


Skånsfors, L. (2013). Barns sociala vardagsliv i förskolan. Ph.d.-afhandling. Karlstads universitet, Karlstad.

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