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Co-constructing family identities through young children’s telephone-mediated narrative exchanges

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


<mark>Journal publication date</mark>06/2013
<mark>Journal</mark>First Language
Number of pages22
Early online date22/05/13
<mark>Original language</mark>English


We explore here telephone interactions between young children and adult family members as contributing insights to the co-construction of identities within both the nuclear and the extended family. We deploy methods of linguistic ethnography to enrich the scope of interpreting our data beyond textual analysis. Our premise was that intimate relatives have knowledgeable appreciation of their child’s affective and cognitive worlds that they can call upon to enhance emerging language use and narrative productions, even in distanced communications. Talking over the telephone has the potential to scaffold children’s skills at offering clear, cohesive communications, and elaborated narratives. Examination of the corpora of four preschool children in interaction with a family member on the telephone showed them to employ extensive expressive power to negotiate considerable communicative space in having both emotional and cognitive needs met; identities are co-constructed as stories about persons and experiences are shared.

Bibliographic note

This is a postprint version of the following article: Cameron, C.A. & Gillen, J. (2013) Coconstructing family identities through young children’s telephone-mediated narrative exchanges. First Language 33 (3) 246-267, first published on fla.sagepub.com doi:10.1177/0142723713487611 This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with SAGE Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.