On countless playgrounds each day girls are at work crafting intricate social organizations through language and embodied action. In the ground-breaking ethnography The Hidden Life of Girls: Games of Stance, Status, and Exclusion, the voices of girls from a range of ethnicities and social classes show that rather than avoiding conflict, girls actively seek it out. The Hidden Life of Girls thus offers a challenge to the notion that girls are inherently supportive of each other. The moral universe that girls create, and in which they hold their peers (including boys) accountable, contradicts stereotypes that have dominated much work on female moral development. Goodwin examines the stances that girls on a playground in a multicultural school setting assume and shows how they position themselves in their peer groups and evaluate the relative status of others. Girls at Play documents the language practices and degradation rituals used not only to sanction friends who violate social norms, but also to bully younger girls and those constructed as social deviants.
This volume will not only provide us with a better picture of children's worlds but also help guide policy and intervention strategies in schools.
"It is impressive how Goodwin entwines an enormous breadth of literature from anthropology, sociology, education and linguistics into a systematic and persuasive explication of the linguistic and social practices recorded.... Highly recommendable." (Discourse & Society, May 2008)
? The book offers both rich and rigorous ways of looking at children's naturally situated conduct that speak(s) to larger concerns of social science research.? "It is clearly of great value to students of language and social interaction, interpersonal communication scholars, and researchers concerned with the development of communication competence or with group processes?? (International Journal of Communication)
"This book is a gold-mine. It is a rich source of data for anyone who is interested in how embodiment actually works in practice and who needs to understand, therefore, how social categories are not pre-existing structures." (Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, December 2008)
"Goodwin has offered scholars an innovative, interdisciplinary and very meticulously articulated piece of work." (Journal of Sociolinguistics, November 2008)
?A powerful [and] provocative read? Highly recommended? (Choice)
?Hidden Life develops into an engrossing read ? .One of Hidden Life?s strengths is Goodwin?s diverse sample of Latino, Asian, African American, and Caucasian girls.? (Feminist Collections)
?Rich analysis ? .Full of rich and diverse data ? and important policy recommendations. Shines a bright light on the complexity ? of preadolescent girls.? (Sex Roles)
"This fascinating and important book gives us a rarely seen inside perspective on the dynamics of girls' social negotiation, contestation, and hierarchy. Critically addressing key misrepresentations and omissions of children's life-worlds in previous scholarship, Goodwin provides a much-needed counterpoint to that research and puts girls' experiences squarely at the center of her analysis."
?Mary Bucholtz, University of California, Santa Barbara
"As she did with He-Said-She-Said in 1990, in this book Goodwin sets a new standard for the ethnographic study of social interaction. As the title suggests, standard techniques of the social sciences leave much of girls' social life hidden from view and insulated from analysis. Goodwin's book offers an important corrective: Through a focus on the actual practices of talk and embodied conduct, Goodwin shows how in constructing the hierarchies, divisions, and exclusions constitutive of their social groups, these girls define their own moral order."
?Jack Sidnell, University of Toronto
List of Figures and Tables.
2. Multimodality, Conflict, and Rationality in Girls? Games.
3. Social Dimensions of a Popular Girls? Clique.
4. Social Organization, Opposition, and Directives in the Game of Jump Rope.
5. Language Practices for Indexing Social Status: Stories, Descriptions, Brags, and Comparisons.
6. Stance and Structure in Assessment and Gossip Activity.
7. Constructing Social Difference and Exclusion in Girls? Groups.
Appendix A: Transcription Symbols.
Appendix B: Jump Rope Rhymes.