Locating children’s interests and concerns: An interaction-focused approach

Reed Stevens*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


This chapter follows in the tradition of prior research on culture and learning in identifying a blind spot in past research on children’s learning and development, what folklorist Richard Bauman named in one word as adultocentrism. Adultocentrism, in adirect analogy to ethnocentrism, refers to implicit and explicit biases in adult accounts of children that efface children’s agency, their goals, and their perspectives. This chapter describes the problems with adultocentric accounts, drawing on research traditions that include children’s folklore studies, the new sociology of children, cultural studies, and conversation analytic studies ofchildren’s everyday practices. The chapter argues for a new anti-adultocentric focus on childrens’ “interests and concerns, ” drawing on the methods of interaction analysis. Two examples that employ interaction analysis are presented to illustrate the promise ofstudying children’s interests and concerns with these methods and, by extension, a wide range of children’s everyday perspectives and practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of the Cultural Foundations of Learning
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781135039318
ISBN (Print)9780203774977
StatePublished - May 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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