Renita Thedvall: "Fast Childcare in Swedish Public Preschools"
- Date: –12:00
- Location: Engelska parken - Eng3-2028; Campus Gotland B43 (video)
- Organiser: Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology
- Contact person: Susann Baez Ullberg, Don Kulick
The Research Seminar in Cultural Anthropology
Renita Thedvall, SCORE, Stockholm University: "Fast Childcare in Swedish Public Preschools. The Utopia of Efficiency"
In the organization, the modern, utopian project of development and improvement into perfection is in good shape, not least as demonstrated by the success of management models. Management models are visionary. They are about the future creating hope for a better, more efficient workplace and better functioning work processes. One such model is the Lean management model with its focus on efficiency and waste elimination. The model, originally from the automotive industry, has moved into all sorts of organizations including, as discussed in this presentation, public preschools in Sweden. The model’s power of fast, immutable mobility aligned with the perceived utopian ideal of efficiency and modernity rushed the Lean management model into preschools as a force promising solutions to perceived policy problems. In this way, Lean was initiated in order to create a future – to create an imagined future of a Lean, perfectly ordered organization, working efficiently without waste. This anthropological study is based on ethnographic fieldwork in a preschool in the Stockholm area in the years 2012-2014 showing that even though the Lean model luckily failed to turn preschools into the well-oiled Lean machines, it did manage to create new environments of power and new patterns of government in preschools by turning resources and focus from pedagogy and care towards efficiency and waste elimination in order to save time.