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The Hidden Life of Girls: Games of Stance, Status, and Exclusionby Majorie Harness Goodwin
Synopses & Reviews
Winner of the Best Book of 2008 from The International Gender and Language Association
In this ground-breaking ethnography of girls on a playground, Goodwin offers a window into their complex social worlds.
On countless playgrounds each day, girls are at work crafting intricate social arrangements through language and embodied action. In this ground-breaking ethnography, the interactions of girls of diverse ethnicities and social classes show that rather than avoiding conflict, they actively seek it out, challenging the notion that girls are inherently supportive of each other. The Hidden Life of Girls documents the language practices and interactive rituals used not only to sanction friends who violate social norms, but also to bully younger girls and those regarded as social outcasts. This volume will not only provide a clearer picture of children’s worlds, but will also help guide future policy and intervention strategies in schools.
About the Author
Marjorie Harness Goodwin is Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Anthropology at UCLA. She is the author of the now-classic He-Said, She-Said: Talk as Social Organization among Black Children (1991). Her primary research interests are on the ethnography of communication, human interaction, conversation analysis, language and gender, workplace ethnography, and children's social organization.
Table of Contents
List of Figures and Tables.
2. Multimodality, Conflict, and Rationality in Girls’ Games.
3. Social Dimensions of a Popular Girls’ Clique.
4. Social Organization, Opposition, and Directives in the Game of Jump Rope.
5. Language Practices for Indexing Social Status: Stories, Descriptions, Brags, and Comparisons.
6. Stance and Structure in Assessment and Gossip Activity.
7. Constructing Social Difference and Exclusion in Girls’ Groups.
Appendix A: Transcription Symbols.
Appendix B: Jump Rope Rhymes.
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