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Accounting for friendship: Moral ordering and category membership in preadolescent girls' relational talk
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
2007 (English)In: Research on Language and Social Interaction, ISSN 0835-1813, E-ISSN 1532-7973, Vol. 40, no 4, 377-404 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this article, I explore how preadolescent girls, with low-income and multiethnic backgrounds, negotiate social and moral norms of conduct and accomplish the local social organization of the group over time. The girls were audio recorded as part of fieldwork in an elementary school in Sweden. The analysis combines conversation analytic examination of talk-in-interaction and ethnomethodological concerns for members' understanding of social categories. As demonstrated, the girls deploy diverse forms of collaborative judgmental work (complaints, accounts, membership categorization work, etc.) to describe coparticipants as good versus bad friends. Resistance (denials, justifications, recycling, substitutions, counteraccusations) to category ascriptions solidified negative category membership (of a bad friend) and eventually cast a girl as friendless. The detailed analysis demonstrates that the girls provide their own rendering of the seemingly neutral (and romanticized) activity of relational talk, thereby transforming it into an activity for indexing inappropriate behaviors, strengthening social relations of power, and justifying social exclusion.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 40, no 4, 377-404 p.
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-141656ISI: 000251691900005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-141656DiVA: diva2:385983
Available from: 2011-01-12 Created: 2011-01-12 Last updated: 2015-03-03

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