Embodied and affective negotiation over spatial and epistemic group territories among school-children: (Re)producing moral orders in open learning environments

Kreeta Niemi, Julia Katila

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Abstract

This study investigates how schoolchildren organise their spatial and epistemic ‘territories’ among peer groups to constitute local social and moral orders in open learning environments. Open learning environments, the result of recent school reforms in Finland, challenge the conventional organisation of traditional classrooms. We use a microanalysis of naturally occurring video-recorded interactions to show the interactional dynamics of how children produce epistemic and spatial territories by creating moment-by-moment unfolding participation frameworks and emotional alliances. We suggest that the lack of institutional structures in open learning environments withholds children from the territorial shelters that exist in more traditional classrooms. Therefore, open learning environments make students and their peer groups more vulnerable in terms of their social face (Goffman, 1955), including their competence and skills, as they are constantly exposed to other people's observations and criticisms of and interventions in their peer groups. Our results shed light on the tendency of human beings to produce spatial and epistemic structures and moral orders where none exist.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-28
Number of pages22
JournalJOURNAL OF PRAGMATICS
Volume191
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Classroom peer interaction
  • Epistemics
  • Group relations
  • Moral orders
  • Open learning environment
  • Territories

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Artificial Intelligence

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