ERIC Number: ED172302
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Apr
Communication with Children: Toward a Healthy Construction of Communicative Roles.
Johnson, Fern L.
The family system--a primary locus in the formation of meaning for children--should encourage the healthy construction of communicative roles. What children learn about interaction is contingent on two processes, both central to the symbolic interaction perspective: role-taking and role-making. Role-taking is the ability to transcend an egocentric perspective, while role-making involves the translation of role-taking into concrete means for realizing the behavioral choices that constitute interaction. Within the perspective of role-taking and role-making, a child learns both primary forms and primary contents of communication. Two primary forms of communication, identified by Basil Bernstein, are position-oriented, in which families are closely tied to restrictive codes, and person-oriented, in which families encourage open communication systems. The primary contents of communication relate to the genderizing of self and others. The concept of gender appropriateness, taught to children through communication with them, affects the development of children's self-concept and imposes constraints on their communicative roles. The clearest avenue open for the deemphasis of gender as a primary content of communication lies in a move toward androgyny. Families should aim at a person-orientation that gives reason to communicative behavior in terms of humanity rather than gender. (GT)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Central States Speech Association (Chicago, Illinois, April 13-16, 1978)