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"That is the dad and this is the mum": Parent-child co-construction of heterosexual identities in conversations
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Language and Literature.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0011-5030
2012 (English)In: Gender and Language, ISSN 1747-6321, Vol. 6, no 2, 405-432 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Based on a corpus of everyday adult-child conversations in Swedish, the study uses interactional linguistics to explore how sexual identity is managed by adults and young children. The five children are studied longitudinally, from about one and a half to three and a half years of age. The management of sexual identity is shown overwhelmingly to concern the management of heterosexuality, the conversations showing a strongly heteronormative view. Two areas are identified through which adults and children recreate heteronormativity. The first of these is romantic attraction, through comments and discussions concerning attractiveness, weddings and marriage, kissing, and handholding. The second area involves heterosexual couples and families, such as a speaker talking about a neighbouring couple or family, or speakers creating a 'play family' using stuffed animals. The analysis shows how the normalising of the heterosexual nuclear family starts early in life for the children involved, and how it is part of ordinary everyday activities. The analysis also indicates a gender difference, in that talk concerning romantic attraction is mainly found in conversations with girls, and the construction of pretend families during make believe and playing only exists in conversations with girls.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Equinox Publishing, 2012. Vol. 6, no 2, 405-432 p.
Keyword [en]
Sexual identity, heteronormativity, child language, conversation, Swedish
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-21621ISI: 000312889400008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-21621DiVA: diva2:551735
Available from: 2012-09-12 Created: 2012-09-12 Last updated: 2016-01-18Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf