Clothes and Clothing Practices in Finnish Early Childhood Education and Care
  • Niina Rutanen
  • Raija Raittila
  • Mari Vuorisalo
Part of the Children: Global Posthumanist Perspectives and Materialist Theories book series (CGPPMT)


Niina Rutanen, Raija Raittila, Mari Vuorisalo write about Clothes and clothing practices in Finnish early childhood education and care. The adopted approach combines relational sociology and geography and addresses the different kinds of spaces clothing practices create in ECEC. Clothing and clothing practices play an important role in the everyday life of ECEC, but often have a different meaning to educators, to the children and to parents. Niina, Raija and Mari show how these different spaces collide with each other and create one possible story of Arctic childhood. In their understanding, space is a social construction and changes in action. They state how ‘the ‘ideal’ Nordic child is the one that is able to dress independently three different layers of clothes and boots, and to plan her/his play with peers and, finally, engage with them actively outdoors’.



This article is based on the data collected in “Children’s paths in early childhood education” project at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. We are grateful to the day care center, and, particularly, to the children, the educators and the parents who allowed us to conduct the ethnography in their center. Mari Vuorisalo’s contribution to this research project has been funded by a postdoctoral research grant by the Finnish Cultural Foundation.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of JyväskyläJyväskyläFinland
  2. 2.University of TampereTampereFinland

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