Practices of peer inclusion

Recruitments to play in Swedish and Japanese preschools




children, play, preschool, Japan, Sweden


This paper explores children’s practices of social inclusion by focusing on their recruitment of peers into play activities. Utilizing data of naturally occurring interaction in Swedish and Japanese preschools, it details four episodes in which children deployed multimodal resources in recruiting peers to begin or join play. The analysis reveals how children can lay the groundwork for recruitments through pre-sequences aimed at securing peer attention and availability. It shows how, when faced with rejection, they can transform their recruitment strategies. The analysis also reveals how children collaborate in recruiting peers, and how they deploy certain strategies, such as the assignment of roles in ways that treat the peer as a willing participant. The findings are discussed in relation to peer inclusion as potentially having a reciprocal nature: in attempting to include someone, one also tries to be included in shared activity.

Author Biographies

Matthew Burdelski, Osaka University

Matthew Burdelski is a professor in the Graduate School of Humanities, Foundational Japanese Studies at Osaka University, Japan. His research focuses on processes of language socialization, involving first, second, and heritage language speakers (both children and adults), in various settings especially preschools, classrooms and households. His work has appeared in a wide range of journals and edited volumes. In addition to special issues, he has recently co-edited a volume titled Language Socialization in Classrooms: Culture, Interaction, and Language Development (Cambridge University Press, 2020).

Asta Cekaite, Linköping University

Asta Cekaite is a professor in Child Studies at the Thematic Research Unit, Linköping University, Sweden. Her research involves an interdisciplinary approach to language, culture, and social interaction. Specific foci include social perspectives on bilingualism, embodiment, touch, emotion, and moral socialization. Empirical fields cover adult-child and children’s peer group interactions in educational settings, and family in various cultural contexts (Sweden, USA, Japan). She has co-authored (with M. H. Goodwin) Embodied Family Choreography: Practices of Control, Care and Mundane Creativity (Routledge, 2018) and has co-edited (with L. Mondada) Touch in Social Interaction: Touch, Language and Body (Routledge, 2021).


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How to Cite

Burdelski, M., & Cekaite, A. (2022). Practices of peer inclusion: Recruitments to play in Swedish and Japanese preschools. Research on Children and Social Interaction, 6(1), 30–64.