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center on everyday lives of families
winter 2004 workshop
Emotional Meaning in Social Interaction:
Toward an Integration of the Subjective and the Social

A workshop sponsored by
the UCLA-Sloan Center on Everyday Lives of Families
January 30, 2004, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Haines Hall, room 352 (Anthropology Department Reading Room)
Lunch provided, reception to follow

Session 1

9:00-9:15 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~Welcome and Introduction

9:15-9:45 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Penny Brown, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics
Learning the social graces: Socializing affect through play in a Mayan community

Much adult interaction in the Mayan language Tzeltal is characterized by a 'positive politeness' style which has a complex of features, including (among others) repetition as recipient's response to an utterance, high pitch and high-trailing off intonation contours, affect-laden address terms, diminutives, evidentials, and intensifying particles. Adults use this style to communicate agreement, empathy, and positive affect. In this paper I look at how Tzeltal children from the age of three evoke this interactional style in their fantasy play, and I discuss the socialization process whereby they learn to express the culturally appropriate affective tone in positively polite conversation.

9:45-10:10 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Discussion

10:10-10:40 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Jean Briggs, Memorial University of Newfoundland
CHILD: ‘I love you, I love you not’
MOTHER: ‘You fear her, you fear her not’
Emotional multiplicity among Inuit

Drawing on ethnographic observations of Inuit family interactions, this presentation examines how 3-year-old Chubby Maata, and her mother, with different goals, both try to construct Chubby Maata's relationship with the anthropologist over a period of 7 months. The analysis will focus on various kinds of multiplicity that the ethnographic data point to, particularly Chubby Maata’s changing (and sometimes cumulative) understandings of the ongoing action from moment to moment, and the shifting and contradictory emotions and motivations underlying both Chubby Maata’s actions and those of her “others.”

10:40-11:05 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Discussion

11:05-11:20 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Break—coffee and snacks

Session 2

11:20-11:50 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Karin Aronsson, Linkoping University
Desire, taste, and small-time dramas: Family negotiations and a small boy's
emotion displays at dinner
(Karin Aronsson & Lucas Forsberg)
Drawing on a case study of family negotiations about sweets at dinner, a small boy's emotion displays are discussed in terms of (i) desire, taste and Swedish middle class ideals, and (ii) the "routine" nature of family routines. The analyses show ways in which routines are shaped in different ways, depending on the child’s position in the family, but also depending on the ways in which the young boy or his elder brother, in fact, chooses to position himself as a "child." Finally, notions of childhood are problematized on the basis of inter- and intragenerational alignments.

11:50-12:15 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Discussion

12:15-12:45 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Robert LeVine, Harvard University
Routines and Ruptures in Childhood Experience:
Ethnographic Examples of Cultural and Potential Psychdynamic Significance
I will provide some poignant and provocative illustrations first of culturally diverse routines through which children learn models of indirect and direct speech, then of socioeconomically generated discontinuities in childhood experience that, when understood in cultural context, have developmental and psychodynamic significance.

12:45-1:10 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Discussion

provided—food in Discourse Lab, seating in Reading Room

Session 3

2:10-3:45 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Roundtable Panel and Open Discussion

Roundtable Panelists:
Karin Aronsson, Jean Briggs, Penelope Brown, Allen Johnson, Robert LeVine, Elinor Ochs

Roundtable Moderator: Douglas Hollan

Wine & Cheese Reception
Haines 352, 3:45-5:00


back to workshop description



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