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Sally Anderson

Title

Associate professor Emerita, PhD

Primary affiliation

Sally Anderson

Areas of expertise

  • education and schooling
  • civil society
  • religion
  • migration
  • nature
  • sport
  • Religious Education (Pedagogy of Religion)
  • schools
  • children
  • ritual
  • gods
  • Indigenous peoples
  • education
  • Children
  • Natural-based solutions
  • community
  • cosmopolitanism
  • citizenship
  • participation
  • children
  • civil society
  • sociability/relationality
  • Education and learning
  • culture
  • schools
  • nature
  • Norden

Contact information

Telephone number
Email address

Profile

I was trained in anthropology both in the US (BA, Middelbury College 1973) and Denmark (KU, Mag.scient. 1996, PhD 2003). I have been employed in the Department of Educational anthropology at The Danish School of Education, Aarhus University since 2006. In 2024, I became lektor emerita

Throughout my career I have been interested in questions of how children - through valued and less-valued forms of social interaction - come to know what they know. This is connected to how adults - often unwittingly - organize the world in ways such that children inadvertently learn what is not explicitly desired or taught.

This interest has led to studies of how children learn which differences are allowed to make a difference in the social life of Danish schoolclasses, (I en klasse for sig 2000). It has also led beyond schools to a study of the various forms of age-graded civil sociality children engage in when 'going to something' - i.e. participating in recreational activities organized by voluntary associations. My struggle to understand how children learn 'what is real' and 'what really matters' has also led to studies of the ambiguous place of religion (and deities) in Danish faith-based friskoler and in provincial folkeskoler that have taken on the job of educating refugee children of Muslim background.

Early fieldwork with the children of reindeer herders in Sápmi (Nat.Geo. Sept. 1977) turned into a lifelong curiosity abouthow children pick up on and respond to 'nature at hand', i.e. to the natural environments in which their lives unfold. Following Sámi families over four generations has revealed great changes in children's lives and their relations to natural surroundings. I use insights from this ongoing work in my present study of how urban children differently engage with the local forms of 'nature' accessible to them (REGREEN H2020).

My research interests include: 

  • Anthropologies of children, sports, religion, sociality and environment
  • Indigenity and struggles of decolonization in Scandinavia
  • Children and: schooling, civil society, religion, nature
  • Education, schooling and implicit knowledge 
  • Body/movement culture 
  • Sociality, sociability
  • Commonality and community

Selected publications

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