Learning to apologize
Moral socialization as an interactional practice in preschool
Keywords:apology, moral order, preschool, preschoolers, social interaction
This article explores the apology practices that occur among young children, aged 1-4 years, and their preschool teachers in a Swedish preschool. More specifically, it aims to analyse how apology events are framed and interactively accomplished, and how children reproduce apology in peer play. Earlier studies have shown that the apology practices of adults and children have different agendas, although children's apology practices echo those of adults. Approaching the participants' perspectives, the analyses show that the apology practices at preschool have a ritualized framework. This consists of (i) clarifying the source of the conflict, (ii) highlighting the moral order, and (iii) verbalizing and embodying the apology. The analyses show how the children transform the apology practices into their pretend play, whereby they display moral stances and get support for individual aims.
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