Publication details [#14712]

Kyratzis, Amy. 2000. Tactical Uses of Narratives in Nursery School Same-Sex Groups. Discourse Processes 29 (3) : 269–299.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
Lawrence Erlbaum


Researchers have been interested in personal experience narratives as political activity (M. H. Goodwin, 1990a, 1990b) and as a medium of gender socialization (Ely, Gleason, & McCabe, 1996). To investigate whether American middle-class preschoolers utilize narratives to accomplish hierarchical forms of social organization in friendship groups and whether there are gender differences in this deployment, an ethnographic study of 4-year-olds in a nursery school classroom was undertaken. Same-sex friendship groups were identified. Personal experience narratives were extracted from spontaneous conversations audiotaped during free play. The girls' narratives concerned past and anticipated stay-overs at one anothers' houses, differentially allowed participation of high- and low-status group members, and contained troubles talk and other emotion displays. The boys' narratives referenced forbidden activities and socialized apparently valued emotion displays in boys' peer culture. Both girls and boys used personal experience narratives to en-gage others and accomplish hierarchical social organization but in different ways.