Big boys and babies: Conflict in a community of practice

Link for joining the seminar on Teams

This seminar will also be held in person. There is limited capacity and so, if you would like to attend in person, please contact before noon on Friday 12 November for joining instructions.


Miriam Meyerhoff, All Souls College (also Anna Strycharz-Banaś & Carmen Dalli, Victoria University of Wellington).

This work is based on 18 months of field observations in a multiethnic early childcare centre in New Zealand. Our purpose was to explore how young children enact and resolve conflict amongst themselves. In this talk, we focus on how certain group labels played a role in the children’s management of peer interactions, particularly how the labels ‘big boy’ and ‘baby’ mark inclusion and exclusion over time. We document changes in the way they were used productively: there is ‘ownership’ of them; then they are re-purposed; and then some disappear. We trace how each phrase helped to establish individual and group identities that were constantly open to negotiation.

ISCA Departmental Seminar Series Michaelmas 2021

3pm, Fridays (Weeks 2-8) on Teams (link above)

Convened by Elisabeth Hsu and Zuzanna Olszewska