Ideas as "possessitives" : claims and counter claims in a playground dispute

Theobald, Maryanne Agnes (2013) Ideas as "possessitives" : claims and counter claims in a playground dispute. Journal of Pragmatics, 45(1), pp. 1-12.

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In the shared space of a school playground, matters of ownership and possession are seriously attended to by children in their everyday encounters with others. The study reported here uses conversation analysis and an ethnomethodological approach to investigate a dispute between two children, aged four to six years, as they decide whose idea for the game will be used. Drawing on Sacks’ (1995a) notion of possession, and Sharrock’s (1974) paper “on owning knowledge”, this paper demonstrates how children draw on the phrase, “that’s my idea”, to claim ownership. Analysis of their video-recorded interaction shows how the children used physical actions, gaze and talk to invoke their own intellectual property as a commodity in the dispute. Whilst invoking ownership, analysis highlights that entitlement over people, objects and the decisions of the shared interactional space did not occur unproblematically. Material objects were used to counter claims to ideas, and it was the uptake of the game and the use of play objects by others that led to whether the idea of game category was upheld. This analysis enables adults a glimpse into the complex social organisation of children’s peer group.

Impact and interest:

3 citations in Scopus
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3 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 53743
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: talk-in-interaction, social order, ethnomethodology, early years, ownership, possession, children's disputes, intellectual property, claims, conversation analysis
DOI: 10.1016/j.pragma.2012.09.009
ISSN: 1879-1387
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100) > Early Childhood Education (excl. Maori) (130102)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > SOCIOLOGY (160800)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Current > Schools > School of Early Childhood & Inclusive Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Elsevier
Copyright Statement: This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Pragmatics. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Pragmatics, [in press, (2013)] DOI:
Deposited On: 19 Sep 2012 23:26
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2016 04:49

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