Children Playing with Narratives. the Relevance of Interaction and Positioning in the Study of Cultural Identity Construction.

Monday, 11 July 2016: 09:00
Location: Hörsaal III (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Sara AMADASI, FISPPA Department - University of Padova, Italy
This paper focuses on narratives related to cultural identity that children, engaged in learning Italian as a second language, generate in interactions amongst them and with adults in a school setting.

The relevance given to the observation of interactions allows to reflect on cultural identity and sense of belonging as positioning modes, focusing on processual, relational and contextual aspects that guide the production of different narratives.

The analysis of interactions and positionings represent therefore relevant perspectives both for the comprehension from a linguistic point of view of narratives' production in communication processes and to widen reflections on children as active participants in social processes. In particular, through this paper it will be possible to observe how positioning strategies activated inside the group by children on one side and narratives concerning their traveling experiences on the other, are interrelated and create an interactional play through which children together with adults becomes co-constructors of meanings linked to identity, culture and belonging.

Based on video recordings of workshops with children, living frequent international mobility experiences, realized during a research year in two italian primary schools and one first grade secondary school, this presentation aims to reflect on how children deal with and play with transnational experiences in their daily school life. The analysis of the ways through which children intertwine stories to sustain particular and never fixed identity positionings represents an opportunity to introduce reflections on the relationship between essentialist and non-essentialist treatment of concepts like culture, identity and belonging.