How Socialization Happens on the Ground: Narrative Practices as Alternate Socializing Pathways in Taiwanese and European-American Families

Overview

This monograph builds upon our cumulative efforts to investigate personal storytelling as a medium of socialization in two disparate cultural worlds. Drawing upon interdisciplinary fields of study that take a discourse-centered approach to socialization, we combined ethnography, longitudinal home observations, and micro-level analysis of everyday talk to study this problem in Taiwanese families in Taipei and European-American families in Longwood, Chicago. Comparative analyses of 192 hours, of video-recorded ...
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Overview

This monograph builds upon our cumulative efforts to investigate personal storytelling as a medium of socialization in two disparate cultural worlds. Drawing upon interdisciplinary fields of study that take a discourse-centered approach to socialization, we combined ethnography, longitudinal home observations, and micro-level analysis of everyday talk to study this problem in Taiwanese families in Taipei and European-American families in Longwood, Chicago. Comparative analyses of 192 hours, of video-recorded observations revealed that convserational stories of young children's past experiences occurred in both sites at remarkably similar rates and continued apace across the age span, yielding nearly 900 narrations. Thse and other similarities coexisted with differences in culturall salient interpretive frameworks and participant roles, forming distinct socializating pathways. The Taipei families enacted a didactic framework, prolifically and elaborately narrating and correcting children's misdeeds. These findings open a window on how socialization operates on the ground: Socialization through personal storytelling is a highly dynamic process in which redundancy and variation are conjoined and children participate as active, creative, affectively engaged meaning makers.
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Meet the Author

Peggy J Miller is Professor of Communication and Professor of Psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has published extensively on socialization through everyday talk in diverse communities, with a focus on cultural and social class comparisons. Her research is interdisciplinary, drawing upon developmental psychology, cultural psychology, communication studies and anthropology.

Heidi Fung is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Ethnology, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan. She received her doctoral training in the Committee on Human Development at the University of Chicago. Her research involves the socialization of emotion, daily disciplinary and moral training practices, and childrearing beliefs across cultures.

Shumin Lin is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Anthropology at the University fo South Florida. She received her PhD in 2009 from the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is committed to understanding the role language plays in the processes of socialization across the lifespan and in the construction of social inequality.

Eva Chian-Hui Chen is Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the Benedictine College in Kansas. She received her PhD in developmental psychology in 2011 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research focuses on children's socialiation and women's lives in the context of transnational marriage families.

Benjamin R Boldt earned his BS degree from the University ofIllinois at Urbana-Champaign with a double major in Psychology and Molecular and Cellular Biology.

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Table of Contents

Abstract

I. Introduction

II. Studying Personal Storytelling in Taipei and Longwood

III. Interpretive Frameworks in Routine Practices

IV. Participant Roles

V. Children Navigating Stories

VI. Discussion

References

Acknowledgements

Contributors

Statement of Editorial Policy

Subject Index

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