ERIC Number: ED255326
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Negotiating Status in a Kindergarten Peer Culture.
Hatch, J. Amos
To provide a description of children's strategies for acquiring and protecting status in peer interactions, participant observation fieldwork was conducted in a classroom of 24 kindergarteners in a low socioeconomic status urban public school. During the period from January through May of 1983, 26 observational visits were made and 80 hours of child-to-child social behavior were recorded. Teachers, the school principal, the classroom aide, selected district staff, and parents were interviewed. Unobtrusive data (school and district reports, student records, and student- and teacher-produced artifacts) were also utilized. Spradley's Developmental Research Sequence Model was used to guide data collection and analysis procedures. Findings were reported in the form of an "analytic description." While dominating behavior was seen consistently in only a few children, almost all children used peer interactions to attempt to manipulate or control the actions of others. Ways to practice and respond to self-promotion and ways to put others down and defend against put-downs were noted. Contrary to the views of Piaget and Goffman, results indicated that children actively participate in the construction of social events, demonstrate an awareness that peer status is a product of social interaction, and use sophisticated interaction strategies to promote and protect their status. (CB)
Descriptors: Classroom Environment, Egocentrism, Group Dynamics, Interaction Process Analysis, Intergroup Relations, Interviews, Kindergarten Children, Naturalistic Observation, Nonverbal Communication, Peer Evaluation, Peer Relationship, Primary Education, Social Behavior, Social Status, Socioeconomic Status, Status Need, Urban Areas, Verbal Communication
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (69th, Chicago, IL, March 31-April 4, 1985).