Where do children’s answers come from?
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Where do children’s answers come from? book
The last ten years have seen changes in the clarity and detail of Bernstein’s ideas about language and society. The early development has been traced by Lawton (1968), who illustrates how questions about his theory can be set at various different levels of analysis, be these sociological, social psychological, psychological, linguistic or interactions of these. In this study, we focus upon what mothers make available for their children to learn within the particular area of answering children’s questions. The first half of the paper presents a somewhat extended reanalysis of the problem posed at Bernstein’s original level of a sociological contrast between middle and lower workingclass socialization practices. The second half attempts to shift the level to social psychological variations among individual mothers within each social class category. In both halves, the variations among mothers’ answers are analysed in relation to differences in the ways in which their children answer questions.