Children and social competence arenas of action

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Children and Social Competence

Children and Social Competence:
Arenas of Action

Edited by

Ian Hutchby and Jo Moran-Ellis
Foreword by

Allison James

(A member of the Taylor & Francis Group) London • Washington, D.C.

UK The Falmer Press, 1 Gunpowder Square, London, EC4A 3DE USA The Falmer Press, Taylor & Francis Inc., 1900 Frost Road, Suite 101, Bristol, PA 19007 © I.Hutchbyand J.Moran-Ellis 1998 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without permission in writing from the Publisher. First published in 1998 This edition published in the Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2005. “To purchase your own copy of thisor any of Taylor & Francis or Routledge’s collection of thousands of eBooks please go to” A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data are available on request ISBN 0-203-97565-0 Master e-book ISBN

ISBN 0 7507 0650 3 cased ISBN 0 7507 0651 1 paper Jacket design by Caroline Archer Every efforthas been made to contact copyright holders for their permission to reprint material in this book. The publishers would be grateful to hear from any copyright holder who is not here acknowledged and will undertake to rectify any errors or omissions in future editions of this book.


Foreword Allison James Acknowledgments Introduction Ian Hutch by Jo Moran-Ellis Chapter 1 Part IChapter 2 Situating Children’s Social Competence Ian Hutch by Jo Moran-Ellis Competence and Family Structures Children and the Family Order: Constraints and Competencies Leena Alanen Runaway Street Children in Nepal: Social Competence Away from Home Rachel Baker Protest-despair-detachment: Questioning the Myth Helen Barrett Contexts for Discourse Competence Children’s Neo-rhetorical Participation inPeer Interactions Robert E.Sanders and Kurt E.Freeman Social and Cognitive Competencies in Learning: Which is Which? Hilary Gardner Children’s Participation in the Discourse of Children’s Television Joanna Thornborrow Competence and Institutional Knowledge

vi xi 1 8 29 30

Chapter 3


Chapter 4 Part II Chapter 5 Chapter 6

68 91 92 120

Chapter 7


Part III


vChapter 8

‘What’s the Problem?’ Restoring Social Order in the Preschool Classroom Susan Danby and Carolyn Baker Difference and Similarity: How Children’s Competence is Constituted in Illness and Its Treatment Pia Haudrup Christensen In the Company of Strangers: Being a Child in Care Gerald de Montigny The Case of the Silent Child: Advice-giving and Advicereception in Parent-Teacher InterviewsDavid Silverman, Carolyn Baker and Jayne Keogh List of Contributors Index


Chapter 9


Chapter 10 Chapter 11

202 221

241 242

Allison James

That a book which raises questions about children’s social competence and their arenas of action should be written at the end of the twentieth century gives pause for reflection on the tremendous changes which have occurrednot only in children’s everyday lives worldwide, but also in attitudes towards childhood itself. Why is the question of children’s competence a pressing issue of our time? What has prompted this concern? Whose concern is it? Not just rhetorical devices, these questions are, I think, very pertinent to the topic: they force us to confront the fact that children’s social experiences and everydaylives are not only shaped by their engagement with childhood as a social institution but that children’s own actions can work to shape the changing face of childhood itself. By way of illustrating the changes which have occurred with respect to children’s status in society, we can look to Britain at the beginning of the twentieth century. Perhaps for the first time, all children, and not just those...
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