Conflict Narratives in Middle Childhood presents evidence from twenty years of research, examining nearly 3,000 narratives from 1,600 children in eight settings in two countries about their own experiences with interpersonal conflict. Close readings, combined with systematic analysis of dozens of features of the stories reveal that when children are invited to write or talk about their own conflicts, they produce accounts that are often charming and sometimes heartbreaking, and that always bring to light their social, emotional, and moral development. Children's personal stories about conflict reveal how they create and maintain friendships, how they understand and react to the social aggression that threatens those friendships, and how they understand and cope with physical aggression ranging from the pushing and poking of peers to criminal violence in their neighborhoods or families. Sometimes children describe the efforts of adults to influence their conflicts - efforts they sometimes welcome and sometimes resist. Their stories show them `taking on' gender and other cultural commitments. We are not just watching children become more and more like us as they move through the elementary school years - we are watching them become the architects of a future we will only see to the extent that we understand their way of making sense.
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Number of pages: 294
Weight: 544 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 mm
'Walton and Davidson take us on an enlightening journey, examining over 3000 stories told by children over 20 years of study. Through stories of making and losing friends, of fitting in and rejection, we see how children re-create culture in each new generation through negotiating the moral ground of their everyday experiences of peers, friendships, and conflicts.' - Robyn Fivush, Emory University
'A unique study of children's social thoughts! Walton and Davidson take an exciting new approach to peer relations research by prioritizing children's own voices. Their systematic, insightful, and culture-sensitive interpretations lend a rich, passionate, and powerful narrative voice to children's personal stories of friendships and conflicts in American and Chinese urban schools.' - Yeh Hsueh, The University of Memphis
'Many assume that verbal and aggressive conflicts in middle childhood are primarily impulsive, harmful, and mean. However, Walton and Davidson capture the complex reflective, agentic, and uplifting character of preadolescents' conflict narratives. A powerful and inspiring appreciation of youth entry and contributions to the moral character of their cultures.' - William A. Corsaro, Author of Sociology of Childhood and We're Friends, Right: Inside Kids' Culture
'Compelling narratives on an important topic. Conflict Narratives in Middle Childhood fills an important gap in the child conflict literature, engaging the reader with high-caliber qualitative research.' - Brett Laursen, Florida Atlantic University
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