Social Interaction, Social Context, and Language: Essays in Honor of Susan Ervin-Tripp

By Dan Isaac Slobin; Julie Gerhardt et al. | Go to book overview

gender beliefs, attitudes and linguistic style of one's peer and/or adult communities is essential to the process of taking gender on, accepting it (more or less), and "getting it right." We do not assume, however, that gender socialization is achieved, or even desired, to the same degree by every child. One direction for future research raised by this work is to study the extent to which, and the reasons why, individual children do or do not join in or lead their peer culture in its behavioral displays of gender-appropriateness, and the extent to which children actively resist such displays.

A major goal of this study of object transformations has been to look at the relation between stories these children construct during play and the material resources available for creating stories. The results show that object transformations are one feature of their stories which reflect preferences for gender-stereotyped themes in social play in the Housekeeping center.12 The results of this study indicate that young children's co-constructed stories can be a major vehicle for learning about and perpetuating gender knowledge and the community's gender arrangements. Children's imagination, knowledge, social and linguistic skills combine in stories to gender their world. Girls and boys might live in the same physical world, but to some as yet unknown degree they act on it differently, creating different symbolic, narrative, and subjective worlds.


REFERENCES

Almqvist, B. ( 1989). Age and gender differences in children's Christmas requests. Play and Culture, 2, 2-19.

Bretherton, I. (Ed.). ( 1984). Symbolic play. Orlando, FL: Academic.

Caldera, Y., Huston, A., & O'Brien, M. ( 1989). "Social interactions and actions and play patterns of parents of toddlers with feminine, masculine and neutral toys". Child Development, 60, 70-76.

Davies, B. ( 1989). Frogs and snails and feminist tales. Sydney: Allen & Unwin.

Duveen, G., & Lloyd, B. ( 1988). "Gender as an influence in the development of scripted pretend play". British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 6, 89-95.

Eisenberg, N., Wolchik, S. A., Hernandez, R., & Pasternak, J. F. ( 1985). "Parental socialization of young children's play". Child Development, 56, 1506- 1513.

Goodwin, M. H. ( 1980). "Directive/response speech sequences in girls' and boys' task activities". In S. McConnell-Ginet , R. Borker, & N. Furman (Eds.), Women and language in literature and society (pp. 157-173). New York: Praeger.

Kyratzis, A. ( 1992). "Gender differences in the use of persuasive justification in children's pretend play". In R. Hall, M. Bucholtz, & B. Moonwomon (Eds.), Locating power. Proceedings of the Second Berkeley Women and Language Conference (pp. 326-337). Berkeley: University of California.

Leaper, C. ( 1991). "Influence and involvement in children's discourse: Age, gender, and partner effects". Child Development, 62, 797-811.

Leaper, C. (Ed.). ( 1994). "Childhood gender segregation: Causes and consequences", New directions for child development, 65. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.

____________________
12
There are other types of transformations which we are studying, as well as thematic differences.

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