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Communicative challenges: A comparative study of mother-child interaction
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Department of Communications Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
1991 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

A fundamental assumption behind the present investigation is that children's appropriation of linguistic and conceptual repertoires are intrinsically linked to the communicative challenges that they meet in their interactions with adults. It is furthermore assumed that these challenges vary between different groups in complex societies. In order to explore such challenges, three groups of mothers with different educational and occupational backgrounds, industrial workers,nurses and teachers, were Video-taped in interactions with their children. The aims of the study were to make in-depth analyses of group differences across different tasks and to conceptually link these differences to broader variation's between the dyads in terms of their backgrounds. In addition, my aim has been to work out a system of categories in order to achieve conceptual clarity in the descriptive language used for categorizing actions. The interactions of 18 dyads,six in each group, in two tasks were analyzed. In the first task, the mothers were to tell their children about twelve pictured animals (phase 1) and then the dyads were to cooperate in dividing the animals into groups (phase 2). In the second task, the dyads were to make a knot in accordance with a model. Group differences were found for a range of variables and there was an overall tendency for the dyads with mother-teachers to differ from the dyads of both of the other groups. On a general level, the interactional pattern of the former group was characterized by demands on the children to externalize their knowledge and understanding, by continuous maternal evaluation of these externalizations, and, in cases of maternal invalidations of the child's contributions, by maternal guidance, of the child towards· the sought-after solution (as opposed to maternal provision of the solution). It was argued that the mothers in the three groups did not differ in their interpretation of the situation as one calling for teaching but, rather, in their interpretation of whatteaching strategies were appropriate an.d, possibly, in their strategical repertoire.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköpings universitet , 1991. , 155 p.
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 64
Keyword [en]
Mother-child interaction, Activity· theory, Problem-solving, Communicative development, Discourse
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-35113Local ID: 24888ISBN: 91-7870-770-6OAI: diva2:255961
Public defence
1991-05-21, Sal Elysion, Hus-T, Universitetsområdet Valla, Linköping, 09:15 (Swedish)
Available from: 2009-10-10 Created: 2009-10-10 Last updated: 2012-06-01Bibliographically approved

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Nilholm, Claes
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Department of Communications StudiesFaculty of Arts and Sciences
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