This issue explores some of the ways in which gender, as a social construction, might be rooted in and contingent on conversational processes in childhood. The interconnections between language and gender in three key developmental sociolinguistic contexts are examined: talk between parent and child, talk among friends, and talk between siblings. When children learn to speak a language, they also learn to use it in ways that can reflect, resist, or ignore their culture's norms of acceptable feminine and masculine behavior. The authors of these articles explore the concept of talk as a medium in which both young children and the adults in their world "do" gender. This collection should act as a springboard for more thinking about ways to untangle gender and context, and to show their interconnectedness as well.
Volume 29, Number 1, 1996
Contents: A. Sheldon, Constituting Gender Through Talk in Childhood: Conversations in Parent-Child, Peer, and Sibling Relationships. R. Ely, J.B. Gleason, A. McCabe, "Why Didn't You Talk to Your Mommy, Honey?": Parents' and Children's Talk About Talk. E. Reese, C.A. Haden, R. Fivush, Mothers, Fathers, Daughters, Sons: Gender Differences in Autobiographical Reminiscing. A. Sheldon, "You Can Be the Baby Brother but You Aren't Born Yet": Preschool Girls' Negotiation for Power and Access in Pretend Play. G.B. DeHart, Gender and Mitigation in 4-Year-Olds' Pretend Play Talk With Siblings.