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ERIC Number: ED455547
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001
Pages: 18
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Social Interactions and Learning in an Informal Setting: An Ethnography of Communication in a Knitting Circle.
Jacobson, Anna
This paper describes a study of a speech community, a group of approximately 10 women, aged 25 to 65, who met at least 3 times a month to knit, drink coffee, and chat. The paper notes that knitting circles have survived through history because they serve a social function that surpasses historical events--they are communities that co-construct the reality of their community through linguistic and educational experiences. According to the paper, the communication that occurs within the knitting speech community is both verbal and nonverbal, and the novices of the speech community in this study will be the experienced knitters of future circles, thanks to their acceptance in this circle. Research questions addressed in the paper were how the members of this speech community use language to co-construct "teaching moments" and whether there is a difference between the speech acts used by experienced knitters and by novice knitters. After 10 meetings where the ethnographer spoke with key members of the group, patterns emerged which helped answer the research questions. Knitting was identified as a craft with its own terminology; the language used by members of the community established social roles and novice knitters employed different speech acts than more experienced knitters did. Typically a less experienced knitter asked for assistance from a more experienced knitter. The language used by the speech community allows the co-construction of meaning that shapes the group, and allows learning to take place among its members. The social interactions within the knitting circle promote a caring atmosphere open to dialogue, and that the dialogue and language used to ask for help define the educational roles of master and apprentice knitters. (NKA)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A