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  • 1.
    Brumark, Åsa
    Södertörn University, Avdelning 3, Swedish language.
    Narratives in family dinner table conversations: a study of the co-narration at dinnertime in twenty Swedish families2003Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In previous research of functions of family dinner talk and conversation, co-narration was found to be an important ingredient. For this reason and because of the importance of family dinners as a context of child socialization, family narration was considered worthy of some extra attention. In this study, narrative activity appearing during dinner table conversations was studied in ten video recorded conversations in ten monolingual Swedish families with children of ages 7-14. The ten recordings were divided into two groups depending on age of the children (group 1: 7-11 years and group 2: 10-14 years) and extensively studied with regard to structural, referential, formal and functional aspects.

    The results revealed similarities regarding certain basic variables, e.g. mean numbers of narratives utterances of the total amount of utterances, especially between adults. However, there were also some striking differences between the groups, e.g. different amount of narrative reference to past and mediated, i.e. decontextualized, events, of complex and elaborated narrative turns and of narrative initiations and elicitations, not only between younger and older siblings, but also in some respects between the two groups of children of the same age (10-11 years), although the latter group produced fewer utterances. These findings suggest that older siblings, despite taking more space in the conversation, would contribute to a supportive conversational context, thus allowing their younger siblings to perform in a “zone of proximal development”.

    The results suggest that the model used in this analysis captures interesting cultural and situational similarities and differences in family dinner table conversations as well as differences in children´s narrative behaviour possibly due to age. Certain adult conversational patterns might be a result of specific adaptations to the children´s age-dependent narrative skills and serve as co-narrative support. The study of the two groups with different ages of the participating children ages also suggest that older siblings would be important, both in a competitive and supportive role.

  • 2.
    Brumark, Åsa
    Södertörn University College, Avdelning 3, Swedish language.
    Reconsidering comments in family dinner conversations2003Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of the present study was to reconsider, theoretically and empirically, the communicative acts termed “meta-pragmatic comments”, suggested by previous research to be used for socializing purposes in the context of family dinner conversations. The corpus analysed consisted of videotaped recordings of dinner conversations in 19 Swedish families. The families were homogenous with regard to social and cultural circumstances as measured by a questionnaire, but differed with regard to the age spans of the children. In both groups, they had one child of age 10-11 years, referred to as the target child, but the families of group 1 included siblings who were younger (mean age 8.4) than the target child, while the families of group 2 included siblings who were older (mean age 13.5). The definition of the communicative act of “meta-pragmatic comment” and some of the principles for coding sub-categories of such comments were adopted from two previous inter-cultural studies but slightly revised. The purpose of revision was to give the act pf of comment a firmer foundation in speech act theory and to explicitly motivate the selection of sub-categories from a developmental perspective.

    A calculation of percentages of comments of various types produced in the two groups of families showed that the group of older siblings made more comments totally, and considerably more comments on other persons not present, declarative comments, comments on linguistic behaviours and comments referring to non-immediate subjects than did the group of siblings younger than the target children. The first group with younger siblings, on the other hand, had more comments addressed to the target child, more interrogative and imperative comments, more indirect comments, more comments directed toward non-linguistic and immediately performed behaviours. Parental comments also differed significantly between the two groups. Thus, the mothers of the first group with younger siblings made most comments totally within that group, to some extent confirming the hypothesis of comments serving a socializing purpose. In most sub-categories (except for imperative comments), they also made proportionally more comments than the fathers. Mothers in the first group also commented proportionally more on non-linguistic behaviours, especially on table manners, than mothers in group 2, and referred much more often to behaviours occurring in the immediate context than did mothers of the second group. This was an expected finding, supported by previous research on maternal speech, but they were also more indirect, which was not expected. On the other hand, the mothers of the second group made more declarative comments and they also commented more on behaviours that were not related to the immediate context, as suggested above. Finally, their share of direct comments (addressed to older children) was unexpectedly larger than that of mothers in the first group. The fathers were more passive in the production of comments, but they dominated regarding imperative comments. Some fathers also made certain kinds of indirect comments that might be perceived as sarcastic.

    As for the use of comments among the children, some findings were expected, but others were not. There were differences between the groups, mostly giving higher percentages to the group with older siblings. Both target children and siblings in this group produced considerably more comments, more declarative comments, proportionally more comments on linguistic behaviours and on behaviours in the non-immediate context than did the children in the first group. Thus, at least regarding the use of comments, the target children within group 2 seemed to behave as their older siblings and they were actually the “target” of comments to a lesser extent than were the target children within group 1.

    From these findings, some general conclusions may be drawn. First, the categories of comments selected proved to be sensitive to the age span of the children around the preadolescence years, although the variables were based on child language research primarily on pre-school children. Second, preadolescent children seemed to take advantage the presence of older siblings in their communicative activity, possibly because they were allowed to perform in the “zone of proximal development”, according to Vygotskij (1962). Finally, a comparison of the results from the present study with those of the two inter-cultural studies, mentioned above, yielded some interesting similarities but also considerable differences, not easy to interpret. For this reason, far-reaching conclusions regarding inter-cultural differences in the use of “meta-pragmatic comments” during family dinners seem doubtful at the present stage of research, considering the remarkable variations within similar but age-differentiated groups within the same culture.

  • 3.
    Brumark, Åsa
    Södertörn University College, Avdelning 3, Swedish language.
    Regulatory talk and politeness at the dinner table in twenty Swedish families2003Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The focus of this study was the use of regulatory talk during dinner in 20 Swedish families. The questions posed were: How is activity regulation at dinnertime realized, i. e. direct or indirect (“polite”), and what differences may be distinguished due to the influence exerted by contextual factors, such as age of participating children, number of participants and different kinds of conversational contexts(instrumental talk and non-instrumental conversation).

    Regulatory utterances constituted about 10 % of all utterances produced during the family dinners in the twenty Swedish families. Except for an early explorative study of Ervin-Tripp (1976) and a socio-cultural study of Blum-Kulka (1991, 1997), there seem to be few systematic comparative observations addressing the relative amounts of different kinds of control acts in similar settings.

    In the families included in this study, where the participating children were aged 7 - 17, regulation at dinner time appeared primarily to have the goal of asking for actions to be performed or objects to be handed over, mostly related to the main activity of having dinner (about 60 %). There were, however, also many so called pedagogic regulators, produced by the parents but also by the children. When the groups were compared, there tended to be more regulation in families with younger children (>11 years) and during dinners with more than four participants. Most of the regulators appearing during the dinners were formulated as direct requests and about 15 % of them were mitigated, softening the impact of coerciveness. Indirect regulators occurred in less than one half of the cases and could be more or less indirect – and perhaps more or less polite. Hints were rather uncommon in these twenty families. When occurring, they were not often responded to in the expected way. Disregarding contextual differences within the conversations, the tendency appears to be more indirect but less mitigated communication in the twenty Swedish families, compared to the American and Israeli groups in Blum-Kulka (1997).

    The activity context had an obvious impact on the way regulatory utterances were performed. Most instrumental regulators were direct (somewhat more than 60 %), most non-instrumental regulators were indirect (nearly 60 %). There were tendencies of group variation in different contexts but the groups and the differences between them were too small to be significant.

    Parental regulation was indirect in nearly half of the cases, but individual differences could be distinguished. Direct parental regulators were mitigated in about 25 % of the cases, closely matching the American parents in the study of Blum-Kulka (1990). There were also some striking differences between mothers and fathers. Maternal regulation was more indirect and maternal direct utterances were often more mitigated (21-48 %). However, the numbers of participating fathers was unfortunately too small (!) for far-reaching conclusions. In instrumental contexts, i. e. when regulating routine actions were related to the meal, most parental regulators were direct (60 %). In non-instrumental contexts, on the other hand, about 75 % of the utterances were indirect.

    Not only activity context or talk genre seemed to affect the regulators used but also their intended goal, i. e. what action was wanted from the addressee. Thus, most often regulation at the dinner table concerned non-verbal actions and requests for objects, related to the main activity.

    Finally, about 50% of the regulatory utterances in the 20 families were adequately responded to, both those of the parents and those of the children. However, parental regulators were obeyed to if indirect, child regulation if direct. In those cases when there was no compliance, negotiation was rather common, both to child and parental regulation. Ignorance and resistance occurred in less than 10% of the cases. Thus, judging from the realization of regulatory utterances and the outcome effectuated by the regulators, Swedish family members seem to be fairly indirect and “polite” around the dinner table.

  • 4.
    Brumark, Åsa
    et al.
    Södertörn University College, Avdelning 3, Swedish language.
    Hellspong, Lennart
    Södertörn University College, Avdelning 3, Swedish language.
    Lärarrollen i deliberativa samtal: En skiss till en retorisk didaktik2003In: Didaktikens mångfald: artiklar presenterade vid 2002 års Rikskonferens i didaktik vid Högskolan i Gävle / [ed] Göran Fransson, Åsa Morberg, Roy Nilsson, Bengt Schüllerqvist, Gävle: Högskolan i Gävle , 2003Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 5.
    De Geer, Boel
    et al.
    Södertörn University College, Avdelning 3, Swedish language.
    Tulviste, Tiia
    Södertörn University College, Avdelning 3, Swedish language.
    Behavior regulation in the family context in Estonia and Sweden2002In: Pragmatics: Quarterly Publication of the International Pragmatics Association, ISSN 1018-2101, Vol. 12, no 3, 329-346 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 6.
    De Geer, Boel
    et al.
    Södertörn University, Avdelning 3, Swedish language.
    Tulviste, Tiia
    University of Tartu, Estonia.
    Mizera, Luule
    University of Tartu, Estonia.
    Tryggvason, Marja
    Södertörn University.
    Socialization in communication: Pragmatic socialization during dinnertime in Estonian, Finnish and Swedish families2002In: Journal of Pragmatics, ISSN 0378-2166, Vol. 34, no 12, 1757-1786 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 7.
    Mähl, Stefan
    Södertörn University, Avdelning 3, Swedish language.
    Selma Colliander - eine Pionierin der schwedischen Germanistik2003In: Studia Neophilologica, ISSN 0039-3274, Vol. 75, no 2, 198-207 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 8. Tryggvason, Marja
    et al.
    De Geer, Boel
    Södertörn University College, Avdelning 3, Swedish language.
    Eliciting talk as language socialization in Finnish, SwedishFinnish and Swedish families: a look at syntactic structures2002In: Multilingua - Journal of Cross-cultural and Interlanguage Communiciation, ISSN 0167-8507, E-ISSN 1613-3684, Vol. 21, no 4, 345-369 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 9.
    Tulviste, Tiia
    et al.
    Södertörn University, Avdelning 3, Swedish language.
    Mizera, Luule
    De Geer, Boel
    Södertörn University, Avdelning 3, Swedish language.
    Tryggvason, Marja
    A comparison of Estonian, Swedish, and Finnish mothers' controlling attitudes and behaviour2003In: International Journal of Psychology, ISSN 0020-7594, E-ISSN 1464-066X, Vol. 38, no 1, 46-53 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The current study examined maternal control of children across families with early adolescents from different sociocultural backgrounds. The intention was to find out whether belonging to the same ethnic group/language community (i.e., Estonian or Finnish) is more important for determination of child-rearing attitudes and practices than sharing the immediate sociocultural context (i.e., Swedish society). In addition, attention was paid to the relationship between attitudes and behaviour. The results were obtained from three monocultural samples of Estonian, Swedish, and Finnish families living in their country of origin; two bicultural samples consisted of Estonian and Finnish families residing in Sweden. Two types of data-mothers' reported attitudes towards the importance of control over children's behaviour (the Control Scale) and video-recorded real-life verbal behaviour-were used to determine how the mothers' attitudes towards control relate to the behavioural control exhibited in their real-life interactions. The study showed that the Finno-Ugric mothers living in their countries of origin controlled their children's behaviour significantly more frequently than those Finno-Ugric mothers who live in Sweden, but both Estonian samples outperformed Finns in their reported control attitudes. The Swedish mothers were the least directive among monocultural mothers both in maternal beliefs and in real-life behaviour, but they differed from Estonian and Finnish mothers residing in Sweden only in their lower scores on the Control Scale. The study revealed that mothers' real-life control behaviour corresponded rather modestly to their reported attitudes toward the importance of controlling children. Analyses of actual mother-child interaction showed that only the Estonian mothers living in Estonia actually put their relatively high scores on the Control Scale into practice in real-life interactions with their children. Finally, some characteristics of Estonian, Finnish, and Swedish languages and cultures are discussed that might determine the cultural differences in child rearing that emerged.

  • 10.
    Tulviste, Tiia
    et al.
    Södertörn University, Avdelning 3, Swedish language.
    Mizera, Luule
    De Geer, Boel
    Södertörn University, Avdelning 3, Swedish language.
    Tryggvason, Marja
    A silent Finn, a silent Finno-Ugric, or a silent Nordic?: A comparative study of Estonian, Finnish, and Swedish mother-adolescent interactions2003In: Applied Psycholinguistics, ISSN 0142-7164, E-ISSN 1469-1817, Vol. 24, no 2, 249-265 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this study was to compare some verbal characteristics of family interaction in the stereotypically tongue-tied Nordic region of the Western world. To this end we compared mothers' and early adolescents' talkativeness and monologuing and mothers' conversational dominance emerging in real-life video recordings in Estonian, Finnish, and Swedish mono- and bilingual families. All these nations have been characterized by previous research as "silent" and less talkative than other nations. The present study found that the Swedish mothers living in Sweden were talkative, as were the adolescents from Swedish monolingual and Swedish-Estonian bilingual families. In all measures of the amount of speech the mothers and adolescents from monolingual Estonian and Finnish families did not differ. According to our results, little talk seems to be characteristic of Finno-Ugric people, and the rate may be decreasing over time under the influence of a more talk-oriented cultural context.

  • 11. Tulviste, Tiia
    et al.
    Mizera, Luule
    De Geer, Boel
    Södertörn University, Avdelning 3, Swedish language.
    Tryggvason, Marja
    Verbal comments as tools of family socialization: A comparison of Estonian, Swedish and Finnish mealtime interaction2002In: Language in society (London. Print), ISSN 0047-4045, E-ISSN 1469-8013, Vol. 31, no 5, 655-678 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
1 - 11 of 11
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