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Social Sustainability through Children’s Expressions of Belonging in Peer Communities

Department of Early Childhood Education, University of Stavanger, Pb 8600, 4036 Stavanger, Norway
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Academic Editors: Veronica Bergan, Michele Biasutti, Elin Eriksen Ødegaard and Sidsel Boldermo
Sustainability 2021, 13(7), 3839; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13073839
Received: 22 February 2021 / Revised: 25 March 2021 / Accepted: 26 March 2021 / Published: 31 March 2021
The aim of this article is to explore the social dimension of sustainable development through children’s expressions of belonging in peer communities in preschool. Social sustainability and sustainable communities emphasize practices, human activity, and interactions that are equitable, inclusive, and sustainable, and preschool provides children with experiences of participation in collective groups and networks. Belonging to a community is an existential need and belonging, itself, is a relational phenomenon. Belonging is connected to power; the notion of “us” sets boundaries and creates a “them”. Based on Yuval-Davis’ analytical concepts and using video observation of children’s (aged 3–5) free play, this article explores children’s belonging in peer communities. This study contributes new knowledge in the field of social sustainability by illuminating communities of belonging built on closeness, conflict/negotiations, and joyfulness. Together, these elements embody experiences of importance to children’s belonging. A common thread running through these communities is the relationship between the individual and the community. View Full-Text
Keywords: social sustainability; belonging; preschool; children; peer community social sustainability; belonging; preschool; children; peer community
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MDPI and ACS Style

Johansson, E.; Rosell, Y. Social Sustainability through Children’s Expressions of Belonging in Peer Communities. Sustainability 2021, 13, 3839. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13073839

AMA Style

Johansson E, Rosell Y. Social Sustainability through Children’s Expressions of Belonging in Peer Communities. Sustainability. 2021; 13(7):3839. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13073839

Chicago/Turabian Style

Johansson, Eva, and Yngve Rosell. 2021. "Social Sustainability through Children’s Expressions of Belonging in Peer Communities" Sustainability 13, no. 7: 3839. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13073839

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