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Doing morality in school: Teasing, gossip and subteaching as collaborative action
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Department of Child Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2002 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The present thesis investigates socializing practices that take place among pupils during group-work sessions in Swedish junior high schools. The pupils, who were video recorded during such sessions, were supposed to work on common assignments, but quite often digressed into so-called off-task talk Most of the present analyses focus on such digressions.

More specifically, the purpose of the thesis was to study pupils' moral practices. Through the staging of such practices, the pupils could be seen to be 'doing morality in school'. A basic assumption was that social norms are best seen when the participants themselves identify transgressions of these norms. Three communicative genres in which moral practices become plainly visible were chosen as the basis for analysis: (i) teasing, (ii)gossiping, and (iii) so-called 'suhteaching', that is, sequences of talk where at least one pupil is positioned as a deputy teacher. Sequences of these genres were transcribed in detail, and a conversational approach was applied for the purpose of close analyses of moral practices.

The findings are presented in four articles. The first article focuses on on gender socialization and illustrates the fine details of how boys and girls orient to gender in teasing practices. It also shows that cross-gender teasing is far more common than same-gender teasing. In the second article, the dialogic architecture of teasing is analyzed, showing that pupils often rely on their co-participants in the staging of teases, and that they employ a rich repertoire of responce strategies: account work, denial, minimal responses, playing along with the teasing, retaliation, and proactive work. The third article focuses on gossiping, and more specifically on how gossip sometimes serves as remedial action for incidents or states of affairs that can be seen as degrading for the primary gossiper's social standing. Finally, the fourth article analyzes so-called 'sub-teaching' and resistance to such subteaching. Regardless of whether pupils are positioned as subteachers or position themselves, subteaching is ultimately always a collaborative affair.

Together the four studies show some of the skills that pupils must master in order to participate successfully in group interaction. Ultimately, pupils' (local) standing largely depends upon acquiring such skills. The conclusion is that school is perhaps not foremost a place where you learn a set of moral norms, but an arena where you learn to practically manage yourself in and through talk-in-interaction.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Tema Barn , 2002. , 104 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 256
Keyword [en]
Morality, school group work, off-task talk, social interaction, socializing practices collaboration, rhetoric, teasing, gossiping, subteaching, disourse analysis
Keyword [sv]
Elever, etik och moral, skolan, skvaller, samtal, sociala aspekter
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-28517Local ID: 13667ISBN: 91-7373-341-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-28517DiVA: diva2:249327
Public defence
2002-05-24, Hörsal Planck, Fysikhuset, Universitetsområdet Valla, Linköping, 13:15 (Swedish)
Supervisors
Available from: 2009-10-09 Created: 2009-10-09 Last updated: 2014-08-29Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Cross-gender teasing as a socializing practice
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Cross-gender teasing as a socializing practice
2002 (English)In: Discourse processes, ISSN 0163-853X, E-ISSN 1532-6950, Vol. 34, no 3, 311-338 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In many studies of teasing between boys and girls, researchers have concluded that teasing affirms boundaries and asymmetries between the sexes through so-called borderwork (Thorne, 1993). However, in this study of teasing during student-run group work, teasing was shown to reach far beyond mere cultural reproduction of gender differences. Not only did teasing sometimes seem to contribute to tearing down traditional gender roles, but it was also employed for many other practical purposes. The study adopts a dialogical perspective on gender socialization to illustrate the fine details of how boys and girls orient to gender in teasing practices. However, quantitative analyses also show that gender is oriented to on an aggregate level: cross-gender teasing is far more common than same-gender teasing. This finding supports van Dijk's (1999) hypothesis that gender is a systematic relevance category.

National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-28512 (URN)10.1207/S15326950DP3403_4 (DOI)13662 (Local ID)13662 (Archive number)13662 (OAI)
Available from: 2009-10-09 Created: 2009-10-09 Last updated: 2012-06-28Bibliographically approved
2. Teasing as serious business: Collaborative staging and response work
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Teasing as serious business: Collaborative staging and response work
2002 (English)In: Text - an interdisciplinary journal for the study of discourse, ISSN 0165-4888, Vol. 22, no 4, 559-595 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Teasing can be seen as one of the socializing practices that take place within schools. Yet prior work on teasing has often had a inonological bias. In this study, the dialogic architecture of teasing sequences in pupils' work groups at school is analyzed in detail-covering both the collaborative staging of teasing, and the response work that teasing brings about. Teasing can be seen as a way of controlling norm transgressions, and response work is therefore a contingent aspect of teasing. The findings show that pupils employ a rich repertoire of response strategies: account work, denial, minimal responses, playing along with the teasing, retaliation, and proactive work. Ultimately, a pupil's (local) standing depends to a large extent upon acquiring such skills. The findings also show that pupils often rely on their co-participants both in the staging of teases and in response work. ⌐ Walter de Gruyter.

Keyword
teasing, response work, collaboration, socializing practices, rhetoric, discourse analysis
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-28515 (URN)10.1515/text.2002.022 (DOI)13665 (Local ID)13665 (Archive number)13665 (OAI)
Available from: 2009-10-09 Created: 2009-10-09 Last updated: 2012-06-28Bibliographically approved
3. Pupils' gossip as remedial action
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Pupils' gossip as remedial action
2003 (English)In: Discourse Studies, ISSN 1461-4456, E-ISSN 1461-7080, Vol. 5, no 1, 101-129 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article focuses on sequences of classroom talk, in which Swedish junior high-school pupils engage in reproaches of absent parties or, to use an established gloss, 'gossiping'. This kind of talk makes up a significant part of the off-task talk that pupils engage in when working in small groups. In order to initiate and participate in gossip interaction, pupils need to master sophisticated social competencies. The study focuses on these competencies and on one major function that gossip can be seen to perform for the primary gossiper: gossip as remedial action.

Keyword
collaboration, discourse analysis, gossip, remedial action, rhetoric, socializing practices
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-48620 (URN)10.1177/14614456030050010501 (DOI)
Available from: 2009-10-11 Created: 2009-10-11 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
4. Doing subteaching in school group work: Positionings, resistance, and participation frameworks
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Doing subteaching in school group work: Positionings, resistance, and participation frameworks
2003 (English)In: Language and Education, ISSN 0950-0782, E-ISSN 1747-7581, Vol. 17, no 3, 208-234 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study focuses on subteaching, a phenomenon that regularly appears in pupil-run group work. On some occasions, junior high school pupils positioned themselves as subteachers, and exploited a series of teacher-like strategies. Thus, by instructing, evaluating, and disciplining their peers, they were found to take on repertoires and practices prototypical of classroom teaching. Thereby, discursive practices that characterise traditional classroom interaction were reproduced in small-group formats. On other occasions, subteaching was partly created by the pupils themselves in that they positioned themselves as pupils in relation to co-participant pupils, who were treated as 'teachers'. Yet, the same pupils, at times, challenged such teacher positionings in a number of ways, e.g. by resisting the subteacher's task requirements. Regardless of whether pupils were positioned as subteachers or positioned themselves, subteaching was ultimately always a collaborative affair.

National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-28516 (URN)10.1080/09500780308666849 (DOI)13666 (Local ID)13666 (Archive number)13666 (OAI)
Available from: 2009-10-09 Created: 2009-10-09 Last updated: 2012-06-28Bibliographically approved

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