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Negotiating Social Pretend Play: Communication Differences Related to Social Status and Sex

Betty Black
Merrill-Palmer Quarterly
Vol. 38, No. 2 (April 1992), pp. 212-232
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23087382
Page Count: 21
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Negotiating Social Pretend Play: Communication Differences Related to Social Status and Sex
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Abstract

Communication strategies which children use to negotiate themes and roles in social pretend play as a function of social status and sex were examined. Using peer nominations, 68 preschool children were assigned to social status groups. In videotaped sessions of same-sex triads, one child entered the play of a pair of peers. Analysis of extreme and less extreme social status groups yielded similar findings. Disliked children used higher proportions of suggestions and demands, and disliked girls used a higher proportion of suggestions than did any other group. Disliked children also were more likely to negotiate pretense in terms of their own activity. Liked children provided explanations about ongoing play to peers and included the ideas of peers in their negotiations about play themes and roles. Girls provided more explanations than did boys who were also more likely to negotiate pretense in self-referent terms. Interactions of social status and sex suggest that communication styles of liked and disliked children vary for boys and girls.

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