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Dialectics of Negotiagency: Micro Mechanisms in Children’s Negotiation in Play Activity
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3287-5613
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This study is about the children in a fourth and fifth grade Swedish primary school class and their play during breaktimes. The study takes the theoretical point of departure in seeing children’s breaktime play as a cultural historical activity. The overarching research problem concerns breaktime play emphasising the phenomena of children’s negotiation, participation and agency. It concerns how breaktime play takes shape and which capacities children possess, who are breaktime play literate, to participate and to uphold play. What is the significance of children’s capacity to negotiate rules and roles? How do they use culturally, historically developed objects and motives to transform and expand established versions of play and games? The research problem foregrounds how the play activity emerges, is carried out and how participation is enabled through negotiation. The aim of the study is to explore the phenomena of children’s negotiation and agency in dialectical change processes in breaktime play activity. The questions explored are: 

RQ: What are the mechanisms in dialectical processes of collectividual action and collective object transformation in children’s play activity? 

  • How does the play activity emerge?
  • How does the object of the play activity transform?

The data consists of field notes from participant observations and of audio memos. Audio memos, short smartphone recordings of the children’s verbal reflections on aspects of their actions and experiences, were continuously produced to get the children’s verbal reflections in the immediacy of acting. Various documents and interviews form additional data. The findings show how the children negotiate involvement, rules, role set-up and the hierarchy of demands as a continuous elaboration of the conditions to establish and maintain boundaries of playfully accomplished activity. The notion of negotiagency is introduced, uncovering that breaktime play literacy does not occur in the children’s minds apart from social interaction but develops in and through negotiation. Negotiagency emerges and is realised when the children are engaged in a playfully accomplished activity. The dialectical processes of collectividual action and collective object transformation in playfully accomplished activity are enabled through negotiation. This whole mechanism is referred to as Dialectics of Negotiagency.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Education, Stockholm University , 2017. , 111 p.
Series
Doktorsavhandlingar från Institutionen för pedagogik och didaktik, 50
Keyword [en]
activity theory, agency, breaktime, children, collectividual, cultural historical activity theory, demands, development, double stimulation, enculturation, motives, negotiagency, negotiation, play, transformation
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Didactics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-140954ISBN: 978-91-7649-666-4 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7649-667-1 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-140954DiVA: diva2:1084488
Public defence
2017-05-12, Lilla hörsalen, Naturhistoriska riksmuseet, Frescativägen 40, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-04-19 Created: 2017-03-24 Last updated: 2017-04-11Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Enculturation into inclusion, protecting what ‘is’, and changed acting: Exploring children's break-time table tennis playing
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Enculturation into inclusion, protecting what ‘is’, and changed acting: Exploring children's break-time table tennis playing
2016 (English)In: Learning, Culture and Social Interaction, ISSN 2210-6561, E-ISSN 2210-657X, Vol. 8, 88-96 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

School day breaks are time–space pockets in between organized, scheduled lessons during the school day. This study analyzed what a group of 16 children, aged 10 and 11 years, in a Swedish school class, did in the outdoor table tennis area of their schoolyard during breaks. The observational data was produced during eight consecutive school days, including 19 breaks, and analyzed through the lens of cultural historical activity theory (Vygotskij, 1978; Leontiev, 1978) emphasizing the dynamics of the demands and motives in this particular activity setting. The children were the co-producers of a multi-motive oriented break-time practice. They were enculturated into inclusion, tolerance and respect through a process of becoming, which involved their engagement into microgenetic movements as a coping with the mismatch between demands and motives using certain abilities—the ability to change practices, the ability to protect what ‘is’ and the ability to quit certain actions by motive reorientation—as tools for change and for non-change. This conceptualizing of “learning cultural competence” (van Oers, 2010) enables us to adopt a more nuanced view of collectividual enculturation processes in a certain activity set- ting. Such understandings enrich the discussion on how to support for a play even more inclusive. 

Keyword
Break-time practice, Cultural historical, Demands, Enculturation, Inclusion, Motives
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Didactics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-131721 (URN)10.1016/j.lcsi.2015.12.005 (DOI)
Available from: 2016-06-22 Created: 2016-06-22 Last updated: 2017-03-24Bibliographically approved
2. Broadening rules and aligning actions: Children’s negotiation while playing hide-and-seek during break time
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Broadening rules and aligning actions: Children’s negotiation while playing hide-and-seek during break time
2016 (English)In: Learning, Culture and Social Interaction, ISSN 2210-6561, E-ISSN 2210-657X, Vol. 11, 19-28 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article explores the emergence of the children's rule negotiation, while they play hide-and-seek during school break times, and how it transforms the playing. Break times refer to the free-time interspaces between organized scheduled lessons during the school day and are settings among others in children's everyday life where they are able to play and explore. Usually, in Swedish primary schools, there is a morning break, lunch break, and shorter pauses between lessons. Usually children are allowed to spend the break times in a schoolyard. The article provides a micro-level insights of a group of 10 and 11 years old children's negotiation process regarding rules to be followed while playing hide-and-seek, in Sweden the game is called "the jar". Observational data was produced during 11 break periods and was analysed through the lens of cultural historical activity theory (Leontiev, 1978; Vygotsky, 1978). The analysis indicates that the children's negotiation process is a collective embedding of agency. Negotiation concerns children broadening the collective interpretation of rules and making micro-adjustments in their courses of action in order to align them. The negotiation of rules is a collectividual (Stetsenko, 2013) enterprise of producing and using negotiagency in changing the circumstances in play.

Keyword
Collectividual, Double stimulation, Negotiagency, Negotiation, Relational agency, Transformative agency
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Didactics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-131735 (URN)10.1016/j.lcsi.2016.04.001 (DOI)000390736900002 ()
Available from: 2016-06-22 Created: 2016-06-22 Last updated: 2017-03-24Bibliographically approved
3. Negotiating involvement: The emergence of a shadow break time play activity
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Negotiating involvement: The emergence of a shadow break time play activity
2016 (English)In: Learning, Culture and Social Interaction, ISSN 2210-6561, E-ISSN 2210-657X, Vol. 11, 153-161 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article concerns the emergence of primary schoolchildren's non-regular shadow break time play. The reported study is part of a bigger project. The observational data upon which the study is based reports on a peer-group between the ages of 10 and 11, in the same school class, and their drifting in the schoolyard. The data was produced during five consecutive school days comprising 8 breaks at one Swedish primary school. A cultural historical activity theoretical analysis was carried out emphasizing the children's micro-adjustments of their courses of actions in a particular transition into a non-regular shadow break time play activity. The findings of this research show how the children negotiate involvement, co-produce the game and continuously elaborate the playful conditions into different versions of the game. The findings moreover emphasize how the negotiation here concerns the co-creation of a tool further used in co-producing play. It is argued that the children, based on negotiagency (Waermö, 2016b), co-produce the play and that negotiagency runs from the individuals' profound sociality and is to be understood as a collectividual (Stetsenko, 2005, 2013) form of agency. 

Keyword
Break time play, Collectividual, Cultural historical, Motives, Negotiation, Negotiagency
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Didactics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-133447 (URN)10.1016/j.lcsi.2016.08.003 (DOI)000390736900013 ()
Available from: 2016-09-07 Created: 2016-09-07 Last updated: 2017-03-24Bibliographically approved

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