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Activity contracts and directives in everyday family politics
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Child and Youth Studies.
2011 (English)In: Discourse & Society, ISSN 0957-9265, E-ISSN 1460-3624, Vol. 22, no 2, 137-154 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In theorizing on family life, children's agency is a feature of a modern type of family, marked by free choice and inter-generational negotiations rather than parental authority. A video ethnography of Swedish everyday family life documents directive sequences and inter-generational negotiations, including what is here called activity contracts: agreements that form a type of inter-generational account work around target activities (e.g. cleaning one's room). Within local family politics, contracts and revised contracts emerge as parts of such account work. The analyses focus on how contracts emerge within successive downgradings and upgradings of parental directives. Activity contracts regulate mutual rights and obligations, invoking family rule statements and local moral order, drawing on an array of verbal and nonverbal resources, ranging from parents' mitigated requests and children's time bargaining to nonverbal escape strategies and gentle shepherding.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 22, no 2, 137-154 p.
Keyword [en]
activity contracts, agency, conversation analysis, directive trajectories, directives, downgradings, family discourse, language socialization, moral order, parent-child interaction, requests, self-regulation, social accounts, upgradings, video-ethnography
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Child and Youth Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-54082DOI: 10.1177/0957926510392124ISI: 000288243400002OAI: diva2:391915
Available from: 2011-01-25 Created: 2011-01-25 Last updated: 2012-01-26Bibliographically approved

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Aronsson, Karin
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ReferencesLink to record
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