#ethnog12 Presentation Slide: Silent & Silenced Identity Work

I just presented at the University of Pennsylvania 33rd Annual Ethnography in Education Research Forum with colleagues Tracie Wallace at UC Berkeley, and John Scott and Dee Anne Anderson at NYU who each teach/research at sites on Space2Cre8.com. From our experiences at each of our sites we asked:

How might we imagine the possibilities of social networking sites as learning spaces in which youth not just ‘come to know,’ but make, relate and do?

Current studies in social networking sites (SNS) focus on how youth use SNS (e.g., boyd, 2008) or on questions around teen privacy online (e.g., Livingstone, 2008). There remains, however, limited data examining the impact of SNS in identity work. We are working to address this research gap by focusing one educational SNS project, Space2Cre8.com, with many complexities—including partnerships across six countries; program sites within school and out-of-school settings; and curriculum iteratively developed by teachers and adapted to address diverse cultural and technological needs of participants. We discussed youths’ creative and literate practices, and how learning across modes, media, and semiotic tools provides students with opportunities to challenge traditional performance of identities as agentive participants in a global world.

Dee Anne Anderson and I presented about our work with youth in the EXCEL Academy @ NYU, which engaged questions on this slide:

4 thoughts on “#ethnog12 Presentation Slide: Silent & Silenced Identity Work

  1. In conversation analysis (CA), silence (usually referred to as pausing) can indicate any number of things. For instance, a moment of silence after a question can indicate that the respondent is going to give a ‘dispreferred’ answer (e.g., denying a request or rejecting an invitation). Although this may be different than how you refer to silence or the choice not to speak, I think it give credence to the idea of silence being agentic in nature (or at least indicative of agency). Looking at silence in CA might be a useful path for conceptualization for these questions.

    1. Thanks, Tim. That is really helpful. We are talking about particular silences or pauses in conversation within interactions, but also questioning the extended silence of individuals within groups. So, two questions you could help me with: 1) What does CA tell us about pauses with large group (20+ people) discussions? 2) For the particular conversations with pauses, we only have field notes, but we do have video footage. Should we transcribe the moments of interest in order to use CA to understand the timing of talk in those sections?

      We are also searching for ways to empirically account for thought and learning without relying on speech. Thoughts on that, anyone? Anyone?

      1. With transcribing talk of large groups, it’s a difficult task to capture even the bare minimum of detail for the kind of minute analysis CA does. Usually, CA sticks with dyads or small groups (~5 interactants). It might be useful to just put in the pause lengths into any transcription you do, then analyze what comes before and after those pauses. This tells you how those pauses are dealt with from the interactant’s perspective, i.e., how they are treated by the participants themselves. In other words, do they treat them as problematic, normal, etc? And what types of utterances (I assume, in this case, questions) precede which kinds of pauses?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *