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Title: Moral reasoning as a resource for resisting impositions in children's everyday interactions
Authors: Shuman, Bilyana
Keywords: DRNTU::Social sciences::Psychology
Issue Date: 2018
Source: Shuman, B. (2018). Moral reasoning as a resource for resisting impositions in children's everyday interactions. Doctoral thesis, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Abstract: This thesis reports on how two children use moral reasoning as a resource in order to resist impositions from others in their everyday interactions. Children are frequently met with constraints and impositions placed upon them by parents, caregivers, friends, siblings, and others in their daily lives. Even at a young age, children are able to bring a variety of linguistic and multimodal resources to bear upon these situations in which they find themselves. Data in the form of naturally-occurring video and audio recordings in the children’s home setting is collected, transcribed, examined and analysed using Conversation Analysis (CA) and Membership Categorization Analysis (MCA) methods, pioneered by sociologist Harvey Sacks in the 1960s. These two methodologies were used in their Ethnomethodological sense, incorporating sequential and categorial work, which open the way to participant-oriented, child-focused analyses. Close examination of the two young children’s constructions and applications of moral reasoning reveal that they employ three specific interactional practices. It is found that children invoke rules, or even create them, primarily in situations of conflict and in order to accomplish their interactional goals. In addition, the children employ Extreme Case Formulations (ECFs) as described by Pomerantz (1986). Most prominent of these are ‘never’, ‘always’, ‘all’, ‘never ever’, etc., which the children employ to defend their arguments, to legitimize or justify their claims, to emphasize their points of view, or/and to exaggerate the ‘wrongness’ of the actions of their co-participants. Lastly, it is found that children employ Membership Categories (MCs) and Membership Categorization Devices (MCDs) while reasoning with their interlocutors. This involves the use of categories (e.g., ‘mummy’, ‘mummies and daddies’, ‘the Queen’) along with their attending ‘category-bound activities’ (Sacks, 1979). Our findings show that these two children were very adept at using a variety of resources in pursuits of their interactional goals. Through a range of discursive practices that engage their co-participants in a series of negotiations and moral reasoning, these children were able to counter impositions to varying degrees of success. It is hoped that an understanding of children’s employment of a variety of linguistic and multimodal resources such as invocations of rules, employment of ECFs, MCs, and MCDs will shed light on the learning and development of language and reasoning skills in young children.
DOI: 10.32657/10356/73505
Schools: School of Humanities and Social Sciences 
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:HSS Theses

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