Young children as rule makers

Cobb-Moore, Charlotte, Danby, Susan J., & Farrell, Ann (2009) Young children as rule makers. Journal of Pragmatics, 41(8), pp. 1477-1492.

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Young children engage in a constant process of negotiating and constructing rules, utilizing these rules as cultural resources to manage their social interactions. This paper examines how young children make sense of, and also construct, rules within one early childhood classroom. This paper draws on a recent study conducted in Australia, in which video-recorded episodes of young children’s talk-in-interaction were examined. Analysis revealed four interactional practices that the children used, including manipulating materials and places to claim ownership of resources within the play space; developing or using pre-existing rules and social orders to control the interactions of their peers; strategically using language to regulate the actions of those around them; and creating and using membership categories such as ‘car owner’ or ‘team member’ to include or exclude others and also to control and participate in the unfolding interaction. While the classroom setting was framed within adult conceptions and regulations, analysis of the children’s interaction demonstrated their co-constructions of social order and imposition of their own forms of rules. Young children negotiated both adult constructed social order and also their own peer constructed social order, drawing upon various rules within both social orders as cultural resources by which they managed their interaction.

Impact and interest:

27 citations in Scopus
18 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 26213
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: social interaction, childhood, early childhood, conversation analysis, rules, peer interaction, social order
DOI: 10.1016/j.pragma.2007.04.013
ISSN: 0378-2166
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > LINGUISTICS (200400) > Discourse and Pragmatics (200403)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Current > Schools > School of Early Childhood & Inclusive Education
Deposited On: 09 Jul 2009 03:39
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:43

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