About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 2282-2292
Publication year: 2012
ISBN: 978-84-615-5563-5
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2012
Location: Valencia, Spain

ANALYSIS OF THE FUNCTION OF CONFLICTS IN VERBAL INTERACTIONS AND THE STRUCTURE OF SOCIAL POSITIONING IN A 9TH GRADE LITERATURE CLASS

K. Graham

University of Georgia (UNITED STATES)
Whenever a speech event occurs, the narrative is framed by the context of the occurrence. According to Rymes (2009), frames are the “interactional and social contexts that surround individual utterances” (p.194). Student interactions viewed through one frame could be positive, but through another, those same interactions could be negative. On the surface, the tendency of adolescent males to challenge each other’s social positions of power through verbal insults and unveiled barbs appears to be detrimental to their academic and emotional development. However, on closer examination through the frame of conversational analysis, Tannen (1998) believes the physical roughhousing of young boys is replaced by interactions of verbal insults among adolescent males, which can only be done with close friends. In the classroom setting, however, a constant barrage of near-hostile insults is difficult to navigate and does not typically encourage optimum acquisition of knowledge. For educators, refocusing high-energy adolescent males from verbal exchanges of aggression into acquiring knowledge is the key to classroom coexistence.

Not all children come into the classroom with the same background knowledge and learned behaviors. Depending on the cultural setting, some students will know and understand typical educational expectations and some will not. Bloome, Carter, Christian, Otto and Shuart-Faris (2005) write, “How teachers interpret the unexpected behaviors of students may be crucial to a student’s educational opportunities” (p.32). Knowing how to appropriately take turns in a conversation, for instance, can influence others’ perceptions of that person’s demeanor. An instructor who is watchful for this particular discourse skill, can deftly and almost imperceptibly guide the unskilled student towards learning how to turn-take. One small act can greatly change a student’s participation level in a classroom discussion. This, in turn, can lead to a more enhanced exchange of knowledge between students in a dialogic educational setting.

There are differences in conflict situations and social positioning in the secondary classroom. There are student voices in the classroom that are heard more often than others. Turn-taking and participation structure are often heavily weighted in favor of the male members of the group. When this kind of pattern occurs, the silenced students lose not only their voice and their social positioning, but also their agency (Rymes, 2009). Even within the immediate members of the group, there are ratified participants, those meant to be listening and participating, and unratified participants, those meant to be bystanders. It is important to study the function of conflicts in social groupings in an educational setting in order to identify the positive and negative aspects of community-building and the ways that they cooperatively learn, which can contribute to a larger understanding of how adolescents best accumulate and acquire academic and social knowledge. This paper illustrates that students learn from each other, and it is necessary that teachers monitors and participate, if only through attentive listening. Students must be encouraged to partake in discussions and for some, the place they feel most comfortable and engaged is a like-gendered small group situation.
@InProceedings{GRAHAM2012ANA,
author = {Graham, K.},
title = {ANALYSIS OF THE FUNCTION OF CONFLICTS IN VERBAL INTERACTIONS AND THE STRUCTURE OF SOCIAL POSITIONING IN A 9TH GRADE LITERATURE CLASS},
series = {6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2012 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-615-5563-5},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {5-7 March, 2012},
year = {2012},
pages = {2282-2292}}
TY - CONF
AU - K. Graham
TI - ANALYSIS OF THE FUNCTION OF CONFLICTS IN VERBAL INTERACTIONS AND THE STRUCTURE OF SOCIAL POSITIONING IN A 9TH GRADE LITERATURE CLASS
SN - 978-84-615-5563-5/2340-1079
PY - 2012
Y1 - 5-7 March, 2012
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2012 Proceedings
SP - 2282
EP - 2292
ER -
K. Graham (2012) ANALYSIS OF THE FUNCTION OF CONFLICTS IN VERBAL INTERACTIONS AND THE STRUCTURE OF SOCIAL POSITIONING IN A 9TH GRADE LITERATURE CLASS, INTED2012 Proceedings, pp. 2282-2292.
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