2006 年 79 巻 p. 105-125
The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between the formation of groups in kindergarten and the process of gender identification by children through their kindergarten life.
In the field of sociology of education in Japan, there have been some studies on the process of gender identification. However, they have focused on the intensification process of gender categories, but tended to ignore the trigger that leads children to recognize their own “correct” gender, and how they do so. The author observed this process at a private kindergarten in Kanagawa, Japan, from April to October 2005. The author observed 31 children, aged from three to four years old, in two classes.
The author carried out a pseudo-experiment in this kindergarten. In this experiment, the criteria of gender identification was conceptualized by using the discussion of “appel”(roll call) following the theory of Althusser. In other words, the observer counted the number of children who responded when the kindergarten teachers called out to them using the category of onnanoko (girls) or otokonoko (boys), and recorded the results periodically.
It was found that once a homogeneous sexual group was formed in a class, the children's gender identification process was accelerated. In addition, the time of gender identification influenced by the peer group differed between the two classes. The latter finding shows that the process of gender identification is not only dependent on the child's own development process, or the home environment, but is also dependent on the kindergarten's peer group activities.