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L’ordine sociale a tavola: L’interazione tra genitori e figli in famiglie italiane e svedesi
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Romance Studies and Classics.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9290-4167
2017 (Italian)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
The social order at the dinner table : The interaction between parents and children in Italian and Swedish families (English)
Abstract [en]

This dissertation examines mealtime conversations between parents and children in eight Swedish and eight Italian middle class, dual-earner households, exploring the ways in which children are engaged in the cooperative construction of social order. The study is part of an international project (cf. Aronsson & Pontecorvo, 2002), coordinated with prior work in the US (cf. Ochs & Kremer-Sadlik, 2013).

Study I explores how children’s accounts work during family dinner conversations. So called proto-accounts (laments, multiple repeats, want-statements) and varied verbal accounts are analyzed in relation to age class or prior language socialization experiences.

Study II focuses on the use of endearment terms in directive sequences between parents and children. The findings show an asymmetrical distribution of endearment terms, in that only parents make use of them when interactional problems – children’s non-compliance with parental requests in particular – arise.  

Study III examines the ways in which Italian parents deploy the discourse marker dai (‘come on’) in directive sequences. This is a flexible linguistic resource that is employed by parents as a cajoling token when children fail to comply with parental requests, hindering the advancement of the in-progress activity.

This thesis describes family mealtimes as parent-directed activities where sociality, morality and local understandings of the world (Ochs & Shohet, 2006) are collaboratively re-created and enacted. This confirms the crucial role of everyday family meals as rich cultural sites (Ochs & Shohet, 2006) for reasserting moral attitudes of the family: participants learn moment by moment how to be competent actors that are able to choose between alternative courses of action and that can therefore be held accountable for their actions (Bergmann, 1998: 284). From this point of view, a dinner is paradigmatic of the deep moral sense that permeates the making of a family.     

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Romance Studies and Classics, Stockholm University , 2017. , p. 92
Series
Forskningsrapporter / Stockholms universitet, Institutionen för franska och italienska: cahiers de la recherche, ISSN 1654-1294 ; 57
Keyword [en]
Italian, Swedish, talk-in-interaction, mealtime interaction, socialization, directives, social order, morality, agency
National Category
Languages and Literature Specific Languages Sociology Social Anthropology
Research subject
Italian
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-139068ISBN: 978-91-7649-678-7 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7649-679-4 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-139068DiVA, id: diva2:1071025
Public defence
2017-03-24, Högbomsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 12, Stockholm, 10:00 (Italian)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-03-01 Created: 2017-02-02 Last updated: 2018-01-13Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Inter-generational Argumentation: Children’s Account Work During DinnerConversations in Italy and Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Inter-generational Argumentation: Children’s Account Work During DinnerConversations in Italy and Sweden
2017 (English)In: Interpersonal Argumentation in Educational and Professional Contexts / [ed] Francesco Arcidiacono, Antonio Bova, New York: Springer-Verlag New York, 2017, p. 1-26Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This chapter illuminates how accountability is a core aspect of the intergenerational argumentation by family members during social interaction at dinnertime. First, an introduction to the concepts of social accountability and language socialization will be provided. Some prior work has focused on mutual apprenticeship (Pontecorvo, Fasulo & Sterponi, 2001), but not much work has problematized how children deploy what we will call proto-accounts (laments, multiple repeats, want-statements) on the one hand, and varied verbal accounts, on the other, in relation to age class or prior language socialization experiences. Second, we will present our study on argumentation, exploring how children’s accounts work during family dinner conversations. Argumentative resources used by parents and children will be discussed in the final part of the chapter in terms of social accountability and the relevance that these strategies have as truly interactional accomplishments.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New York: Springer-Verlag New York, 2017
Keyword
inter-generational argumentation, accountability, accounts, directives, complaints
National Category
Specific Languages Social Anthropology
Research subject
Italian
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-137859 (URN)10.1007/978-3-319-59084-4 (DOI)978-3-319-59083-7 (ISBN)978-3-319-59084-4 (ISBN)
Projects
CELF, UCLA Center on Everyday Lives of Families
Available from: 2017-01-12 Created: 2017-01-12 Last updated: 2018-01-13Bibliographically approved
2. Endearment and address terms in family life: Children’s and parents’ directives in Italian and Swedish dinnertime interaction
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Endearment and address terms in family life: Children’s and parents’ directives in Italian and Swedish dinnertime interaction
2017 (English)In: Journal of Pragmatics, ISSN 0378-2166, E-ISSN 1879-1387, Vol. 109, p. 82-94Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The focus of this study is on the use of endearment terms and affective resources (including other address terms, as well as nonverbal calibration) in requests sequences in inter-generational interaction, expanding prior work on requests as social action. This study documents verbal and embodied practices in dinnertime talk (30 hours of video) deployed by both parents and children in order to get things done. The analyses show ways in which endearment terms were recurrently deployed in request sequences, marking both trouble and social intimacy. Moreover, the data show that endearment terms were exclusively deployed by the parents, but not by their children. The adults and children drew on different repertoires of affective resources: the children deployed an array of nonverbal and nonvocal means to display their affective stances. In addition, the parents resorted to endearment terms, nicknames, and diminutives, as lexical devices invoking intimate bonds in a context where social solidarity might be at stake. Finally, while children’s requests target an immediate action concerning food and food-related activities rooted in the here and now of the interaction, parental requests can be often analyzed as redressive actions, prompted by the child’s (troublesome) behavior.

Keyword
Directives, Address terms, Endearment, Alignment, Entitlement
National Category
Specific Languages Social Anthropology
Research subject
Italian
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-137858 (URN)10.1016/j.pragma.2016.12.014 (DOI)000395353100006 ()
Projects
CELF, UCLA Center on Everyday Lives of Families
Available from: 2017-01-12 Created: 2017-01-12 Last updated: 2018-01-13Bibliographically approved
3. ‘Dai, da’ na mano!’ Tra il dire e il chiedere: l’uso del segnale discorsivo ’dai’ in conversazioni in famiglia
Open this publication in new window or tab >>‘Dai, da’ na mano!’ Tra il dire e il chiedere: l’uso del segnale discorsivo ’dai’ in conversazioni in famiglia
2015 (Italian)In: Rivista di Psicolinguistica Applicata, ISSN 1592-1328, Vol. XV, no 1, p. 89-103Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper analyzes the use of the Italian discourse marker ‘dai’ (English idiomatic translation : “come on”) in directive sequences between parents and children collected during family mealtime interactions. The work shows how this pragmatic device inhabits sequential contexts in which the recipient is not oriented toward the course of action to which the request refers, that is, when participants do not share the participatory framework and when resistance can be anticipated from the recipient. The paper shows the extent to which the ‘dai’ marker works as a modulator of affect (from encouragement to critique) and, at the same time, how it can open a negotiation space between parents and children as regards the management of individual responsibilities. The paper finally considers the findings in light of practices of socialization, and proposes that the marker supports a cultural preference, common in middle-class families in Western contexts, toward acknowledging the child as an agent and willful individual even in contexts in which he/she is asked to comply.

Keyword
conversation analysis, talk-in-interaction, socialization, Italian, discourse markers, parent-child interaction
National Category
Languages and Literature Social Anthropology Specific Languages
Research subject
Italian
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-127192 (URN)
Available from: 2016-02-26 Created: 2016-02-26 Last updated: 2018-01-10Bibliographically approved

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