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Boys Interrupted?: A case study on pre-school children’s use of interruptions in same- and mixed- sex conversations.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Language and gender studies show that men use interruptions as a dominance strategy towards women in cross- sex conversations. It has often been concluded that these patterns appear as a result of male- domination and female- subordination in society. Interruptions have been associated with power relations in society among men and women, therefore, the main focus of this area of research has mostly been adult speakers. Research has suggested that children adopt adult behaviours in terms of using interruptions as a dominance strategy around the age of fifteen. This study deals with children aged six- years- old because children are aware of their own gender identities around the age of five and since they are sensitive to the environmental conditions they are surrounded by it should be likely that they adhere to adult structures before the age of fifteen. The aim of this paper was to investigate six-year-old pre-school children’s use of interruptions in same- and mixed- sex conversations in order to answer the following research questions: which sex interrupts the most, which sex is mostly interrupted and what seems to be the function of the interruptions. The results of this study are that the girls initiated most of the interruptions that took place and the interruptions were mostly directed to other girls. A large proportion of the interruptions in these sessions were negative and illegitimate acts but not all. For a long time, interruptions have been considered to be negative actions when performed in interaction. The results of this study show that there is a need to re-evaluate interruptions because they can be positive and legitimate acts as well. Moreover, researchers should also consider control of topic when investigating dominance in interaction since the children who were dominant during these sessions controlled the topic and thus, controlled the conversation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 49 p.
Keyword [en]
Gender studies, language and gender, linguistics, sociolinguistics, speech communication, child development., Gender studies, language and gender, linguistics, sociolinguistics, speech communication, child development.
National Category
Humanities
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-122974OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-122974DiVA: diva2:869091
Presentation
2015-11-09, Stockholm, 09:40 (English)
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2015-11-19 Created: 2015-11-12 Last updated: 2015-11-19Bibliographically approved

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