ABSTRACT. In Bakhtin’s (1986) conception of carnivalesque the body, its contents and, by extrapolation, food, play a central role in a communication genre that acts as a form of resistance. As Cresswell and Teucher (2011) explain, the body is ‘an embodied expression of community’ (p. 107) and conveys participatory meaning without the need for mediation. In early childhood education contexts that are typically oriented towards ‘free play,’ mealtimes represent a special opportunity to understand the complex social struggles that take place through acts of the body which are typically located in the ‘underground’ of the educational setting (White, 2014). The ‘feast of fools’ marks out the significance of such events as a form of resistance and collusion between peers which utilise the teachers presence as an opportunity to resist authority and create dialogic tensions accordingly. In such cases the peer group thrives as an unmediated presence in the ‘bonds of brotherhood’ beyond the official, ‘educative’ realm in temporarily suspended moments of joy. pp. 85–97

Keywords: carnival; feast; mealtimes; early childhood education; Bakhtin


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