Family displays in child–parent interaction
The contribution of interactional practice to social meaning in display work
Keywords:children, social interaction, family display, normativity
This article engages with the sociological concept of ‘display’, that is, the process by which families show that they are family. The article argues for the need to include considerations of how displays are done at the local interactional level. In conversations between children, parents, and an interactive app, this study identifies two distinct patterns regarding how children develop their answers to the question Who are the people in your family?: the nuclear family display and the family of choice display. Each pattern is characterized by both a specific content and specific interactional, structural properties. Such matches between content and structure show that how something is displayed, as revealed by minute details of interaction, form part of participants’ display work.
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