Performing inclusion and exclusion in the peer group. Children's social organization and peer socializing practices in the classroom

Nasi, Nicola (2022) Performing inclusion and exclusion in the peer group. Children's social organization and peer socializing practices in the classroom, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze pedagogiche, 34 Ciclo.
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This PhD thesis investigates children’s peer practices in two primary schools in Italy, focusing on the ordinary and the Italian L2 classroom. The study is informed by the paradigm of language socialization and considers peer interactions as a ‘double opportunity space’, allowing both children’s co-construction of their social organization and children’s sociolinguistic development. These two foci of attention are explored on the basis of children’s social interaction and of the verbal, embodied, and material resources that children agentively deploy during their mundane activities in the peer group. The study is based on a video ethnography that lasted nine months. Approximately 30 hours of classroom interactions were video-recorded, transcribed, and analyzed with an approach that combines the micro-analytic instruments of Conversation Analysis and the use of ethnographic information. Three main social phenomena were selected for analysis: (a) children’s enactment of the role of the teacher, (b) children’s reproduction of must-formatted rules, and (c) children’s argumentative strategies during peer conflict. The analysis highlights the centrality of the institutional frame for children’s peer interactions in the classroom. Moreover, the study illustrates that children socialize their classmates to the linguistic, social, and moral expectations of the context in and through various practices. Notably, these practices are also germane to the local negotiation of children’s social organization and hierarchy. Therefore, the thesis underlines that children’s peer interactions are both a resource for children’s sociolinguistic development and a potentially problematic locus where social exclusion is constructed and brought to bear. These insights are relevant for teachers’ professional practice. Children’s peer interactions are a resource that can be integrated in everyday didactics. Nevertheless, the role of the teacher in supervising and steering children’s peer practices appears crucial: an acritical view of children’s autonomous work, often implied in teaching methods such as peer tutoring, needs to be problematized.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Nasi, Nicola
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
classroom, interaction, peer group, peer culture, children, language, social organization, Conversation Analysis, ethnography
Data di discussione
4 Luglio 2022

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