Boys Interrupted?: A case study on pre-school children’s use of interruptions in same- and mixed-sex conversations.
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
It is believed that interruptions are used as a dominance strategy in conversation and that they are negative actions in general. Most studies in this area of research have involved adult speakers. Therefore, this paper deals with pre-school children’s use of interruptions. The aim of this study is to investigate which sex interrupts the most in conversation and which sex is mostly interrupted. Furthermore, the function of the interruptions are considered and dealt with here. The material for this study consists of audio recordings of the children’s speech. These were obtained at an English speaking pre-school which is located in the city centre of Stockholm. The children who participated in this study were, at the time data was collected, six years old or about to turn six years old. In other words, the children were all born the same year. A total of eight children, four of each sex, are involved in this study and they were observed and recorded in same- and mixed-sex settings while drawing. Each group consisted of four children and each session lasted 30 minutes. The actual recordings took place on two separate occasions. On the first, the children were in mixed-sex settings and in the second, they were in same-sex settings. A total of 29 interruptions occurred in these sessions. The girls initiated most of the interruptions that took place and these interruptions were mostly directed towards other girls. A large proportion of the interruptions in these sessions were negative and illegitimate acts but not all. Some interruptions were both legitimate and positive. This paper highlights the need to re-evaluate the current notion of interruptions as solely acts of dominance in the negative sense. There can also be positive and legitimate interruptions that do not necessarily have to be related to dominance
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 49 p.
Gender studies, language and gender, linguistics, sociolinguistics, speech communication, child development.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-123317OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-123317DiVA: diva2:873354
2015-11-09, 09:30 (English)
Lilja Visén, Sara