”Uenighet som demokratisk praksis i måltidsfellesskapet på småbarnsavdeling”.

Grindland, B.
Nordisk Barnehageforskning, 4(2), 75-90.


The purpose of this study is to examine how child carers talk about episodes in which children and adults as participants in a meal, break with and express disagreement regarding the structured group meal. The author also wants to examine what possible conditions different discourses in the conversations provide for disagreement as a democratic practice in a group meal.


The study identifies two different discourses around meal-time situations; one order discourse and one investigation discourse. In the order discourse, disagreement is considered a threat to the group meal and therefore there are attempts to convert it into agreement. In the order discourse, participation is by adapting the current structures, and only one identity exists: “we”. In the investigation discourse, the community is seen as consisting of participants with different identities, and therefore disagreement is not considered a threat to the group/community. Instead the group meal is considered a democratic community, in which the children have room for diversity and disagreement. The author argues that the investigation discourse can provide the children with experience in democratic situations, while there is also an order discourse that differs from the situations with room for conflictual consensus.


Daycare-centre staff from four departments in day nurseries took part in the study. The empirical material consists of three extracts from seven conversations between the staff at the daycare centres. The conversations were recorded by the author and later transcribed. The material was analysed on the basis of a discourse theoretical approach focusing on democracy, in which the author identified different discourses in the material.


Grindland, B. (2011). ”Uenighet som demokratisk praksis i måltidsfellesskapet på småbarnsavdeling”. Nordisk Barnehageforskning, 4(2), 75-90.

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