Chapter

Closings in young children’s disputes: resolution, dissipation and teacher intervention

Amelia Church

in Children, politics and communication

Published by Policy Press

Published in print May 2009 | ISBN: 9781847421845
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447301813 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847421845.003.0009
Closings in young children’s disputes: resolution, dissipation and teacher intervention

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This chapter shows how the methods of conversation analysis can help to understand processes of conflict between young children. It reveals that examples of spontaneous arguments between four-year old children, despite conflict not always being resolved, show that one can distinguish three possible outcomes in children's disputes: resolution, abandonment, and teacher intervention. It notes that close analysis of these three dispute ‘closings’ reveals that very specific linguistic resources are used by young children to manage disagreements with peers. It exemplifies children's competencies in social interaction and demonstrates that close attention to features of talk-in-interaction affords a rich understanding of children's social worlds. It draws attention to some specific ways in which young children develop communicative repertoires and strategies to get noticed, achieve their objectives, and manage different situations.

Keywords: conversation analysis; conflict; spontaneous arguments; resolution; abandonment; teacher intervention; dispute closings; talk-in-interaction

Chapter.  6735 words. 

Subjects: Marriage and the Family

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