SHARING THE SAME WORLD, TELLING DIFFERENT STORIES: GENDER DIFFERENCES IN CO-CONSTRUCTED PRETEND NARRATIVES
University of Minnesota
It is difficult to separate reality from fiction in the playground. The two are in a happy state of confusion; like dinner-party hilarity, when nonsense rises on bubbles of champagne...
Iona Opie. The People in the Playground.
This chapter is concerned with the question of how linguistic processes connect individual minds and bodies in and to a larger social order. We will consider how language is socially situated in experience and how that experience shapes us. We will show that children's talk with friends is an important medium for acquiring and displaying explicit and implicit knowledge of the world and of communal sociocultural norms.
Considering that girls and boys spend significant time in childhood with same-sex companions,2 we can ask if there are differences in these same-sex experiences which socialize children into gender-influenced, normative social practices? Social interaction often depends on shared knowledge and interests in order to be successful and satisfying. Are there differences in girls' and boys' shared knowledge or interests that are relevant to their interactions?____________________