The many-faced cry: Tone and tempo in the pre-school

This article focuses on crying amongst the youngest children in preschool. The study is based on an critical ethnographic study, doing participating observations among children one and two years of age, and talks with the practitioners. How preschool practitioners compose and enact care through a bodily logic that includes different tones and rhythms are more complex than their talk about crying. Working with Foucault’s material aspect of the subject and Deleuze’s discussion about what a body may do, the article analyzes the complexity and visualization of crying. When practitioners talk about crying, smiling or clean faces they appear to be taking up particular dualistic verbal approaches. These can be read as taken for granted ways of thinking and talking, reflecting discourses of care intertwining age, gender and 'whiteness'. From this angle the article analyze how concepts have material consequences, as we know our world through concepts. Research among the youngest children may make visible the not yet known in our thoughts analyzing processes of materialization. These processes melt the material and discursive together and create practices of care in a preschool context.

Keywords: material subject, crying, material-discursive practices, body, young children, complexity