Presentation Details

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Eleventh International Literacy and Education Research Network Conference on Learning

Doing Age and the Ritual Celebration of Children’s Birthdays: The Relationship between Social Construction and Leiblichkeit and its Meaning for Cultural Learning

Frau Prof. Dr. Heike Deckert-Peaceman.

This paper presents a discussion of preliminary results of ethnographic case studies on the meaning of children’s birthdays in modern, western society. In particular, those of generational relationship, cultural learning processes and growing up in said society from the perspective of children. Questions are formulated within the framework of “Doing Age” about the relationship between social construction and Leiblichkeit (corporality or the body as lived subjectivity). Of further interest is the relevance of this ritual for learning in school and questions as to the correlation between social construction of time, cultural understanding of childhood and formal schooling.


Frau Prof. Dr. Heike Deckert-Peaceman

Heike Deckert-Peaceman (b. 1963) has taught, trained students, held advance training for teachers, and done research in Germany and abroad. She earned her doctorate with an ethnographic study on Holocaust Education in primary schools. After having worked at the Fritz Bauer Institute, Ms. Deckert-Peaceman joined the faculty of the Department of Elementary Education at Frankfurt University in 2003 as an assistant professor. Since 2004 she has a full professorship at the Pädagogische Hochschule Ludwigsburg/Stuttgart.

  • Ethnography
  • Doing Age
  • Study of Childhood
  • Formal Schooling
  • Birthday

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)