Socialization: Parent-Child Interaction in Everyday Life: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Socialization: Parent-Child Interaction in Everyday Life

1st Edition

By Sara Keel


262 pages

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Hardback: 9781472448026
pub: 2016-03-10
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Adopting a conversation analytic approach informed by ethnomethodology, this book examines the process of socialization as it takes place within everyday parent–child interactions. Based on a large audio-visual corpus featuring footage of families filmed extensively in their homes, the author focuses on the initiation of interactive assessment sequences on the part of young children with their parents and the manner in which, by means of embodied resources, such as talk, gaze, and gesture, they acquire communicative skills and a sense of themselves as effective social actors.

With attention to the responses of parents and their understanding of their children's participation in exchanges, and the implications of these for children's communication this book sheds new light on the ways in which parents and children achieve shared understanding, how they deal with matters of 'alignment' or 'disalignment' and issues related to their respective membership categories.

As a rigorous and detailed study of children's early socialization as well as the structural and embodied organization of communicative sequences, Socialization: Parent–Child Interaction in Everyday Life will appeal to scholars of sociology and child development with interests in ethnomethodology and conversation analysis, early years socialization and the sociology of family life.


"All those interested in children's early conversational abilities and competencies will immediately recognize the significance of this major contribution to the field. Not only does Sara Keel explicate the particularly subtle strategies children begin to display, she also sets her findings within a timely overview and analysis of the existent conversation analytic work on early socialisation."—Michael Forrester, University of Kent, UK

"In this book, Sara Keel illuminates the interactional competencies of two-year-old children. The detailed analysis shows - in pursuing parent responses to their assessments - young children are attuned to the negotiation of roles, the indexicality of rights and responsibilities, and the contiguity of social practices. A terrific read, not only for scholars in ethnomethodology and conversation analysis, but for students, practitioners and researchers of early childhood seeking to understand how socialization is achieved in everyday interactions."— Amelia Church, University of Melbourne, Australia

"For anyone interested in the detailed study of parent-child interaction, and how socialization� might be approached using the unique tools of ethnomethodology and conversation analysis, this book has much to offer. It provides an enlightening overview of scholarly thinking on socialization, and grounds the concept in the concrete particulars of children's everyday interactions."— Mardi Kidwell, University of New Hampshire, USA

"This book breaks new ground in the examination of young children's embodied interactive, cognitive, and linguistic competences. Its careful analysis demonstrates how children aged 2-3 years act as agents to orchestrate and negotiate co-operative engagement with parents during interaction within assessment activities."— Marjorie Harness Goodwin, University of California, Los Angeles, USA

"This is the best book on child-parent interaction I have ever read. In a most succinct and insightful way, Sara Keel surveys the major social-scientific approaches to 'socialization', and with consummate conceptual acuity shows how ethnomethodology and conversation analysis radically respecify those approaches-not least in recasting the analytic conception of the child. Using detailed empirical analyses of audiovisual recordings of child-parent interactions, she presents new findings concerning, for instance, the participants' methodical practices concerning preference organization in children's interactions with parents."— Rod Watson, Dept. Sciences Economiques et Sociales,Telecom ParisTech

"Keel’s book is living proof that there is work to be done in renewing and rethinking established concepts in social sciences, by taking both an interactional and a user’s (in this case, a child’s) perspective. The way in which Keel performs such work on the concept of socialization is impressively well done. By analysing collections, she was able to describe systematic, recurrent patterns of interactions in a meaningful way, mean-ingful to both the field of social interaction and the field of early childhood studies." - Martine Noordegraaf, Department of Social Studies, Christian University for Applied Sciences (CHE), The Netherlands, Discourse Studies 19(3), 2017

Table of Contents


1.The study of socialization: historical context and respecification by ethnomethodology and conversation analysis

2. Data/collection/transcription

3. Young children’s repetitions of initial assessments and their orientation toward conditional relevance

4. Parents’ agreements with children’s initial assessments: what about the preference for agreement in everyday family life?

5. Parents’ disagreements with children’s initial assessments - what about the dispreference for disagreement in everyday family life?

6. Concluding comments




About the Author

Sara Keel is a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Basel, Switzerland.

About the Series

Directions in Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis

Directions in Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis

Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis are cognate approaches to the study of social action that together comprise a major perspective within the contemporary human sciences. Ethnomethodology focuses upon the production of situated and ordered social action of all kinds, whilst Conversation Analysis has a more specific focus on the production and organisation of talk-in-interaction. Of course, given that so much social action is conducted in and through talk, there are substantive as well theoretical continuities between the two approaches. Focusing on social activities as situated human productions, these approaches seek to analyse the intelligibility and accountability of social activities ‘from within’ those activities themselves, using methods that can be analysed and described. Such methods amount to aptitudes, skills, knowledge and competencies that members of society use, rely upon and take for granted in conducting their affairs across the whole range of social life.

As a result of the methodological rewards consequent upon their unique analytic approach and attention to the detailed orderliness of social life, Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis have ramified across a wide range of human science disciplines throughout the world, including anthropology, social psychology, linguistics, communication studies and social studies of science and technology.

This series is dedicated to publishing the latest work in these two fields, including research monographs, edited collections and theoretical treatises. As such, its volumes are essential reading for those concerned with the study of human conduct and aptitudes, the (re)production of social orderliness and the methods and aspirations of the social sciences.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / Marriage & Family