A1 Journal article (refereed)
Relational analysis and the ethnographic approach : constructing preschool childhood (2021)

Raittila, Raija; Vuorisalo, Mari (2021). Relational analysis and the ethnographic approach : constructing preschool childhood. Ethnography and Education, Early online. DOI: 10.1080/17457823.2021.1872396

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Raittila, Raija; Vuorisalo, Mari

Journal or series: Ethnography and Education

ISSN: 1745-7823

eISSN: 1745-7831

Publication year: 2021

Volume: Early online

Publisher: Routledge

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/17457823.2021.1872396

Open Access: Open access publication published in a hybrid channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/73784


This article elaborates the relational ontology in an ethnographic study. The aim is to seek relational construction of preschool practice and how children’s positions are constructed in it. The study is based on the understanding that ethnography and relational sociology share the idea that society emerges through repeated relations. The ontological thinking of relational sociology is applied in a micro-level analysis of three episodes from a Finnish preschool. We propose that relations appear in every single ethnographical episode and that carefully analysed repetitive relations can reveal a stabilised organisational structure. The analysis shows how the position of one child is structuring and being structured in everyday actions in a preschool. We argue that through relational analysis of ethnographic data, it is possible to seek sociological knowledge of institutions – in this case, of preschool.

Keywords: children (age groups); childhood; preschool; social relations; sociology; ethnography

Free keywords: relational sociology; ethnography; preschool; relational analysis; childhood

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Ministry reporting: No, publication in press

Preliminary JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2021-25-01 at 14:09