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From children’s personal narratives to understanding their lives: A study of children from low-socioeconomic families
children of low-socioeconomic families
This study aimed to understand children’s lives from their personal narratives. Five participants were five years of age and from low-socioeconomic families. They attended a private kindergarten in outskirts of New Taipei city. Participant observations during free-play time were the primary method to collect children’s naturally occurred personal narrative. Based on Labovian theory of narrative structure, narrative evaluations were selected for further qualitative analyses to understand the children’s lives. The main results are as the following: 1. The children’s personal narratives demonstrated that children’s daily lives were closely involved with adults’. These children were very familiar with soap operas on TV. Their life styles combined urban with country features. They also showed great interest in 3C products. 2. The children showed their care about their parents’ economic conditions. Their material desires were also manifested in their narratives. These children were aware of families’ finical conditions. Mentioning the events of spanking and scolding in the families reflected that low-socioeconomic families did not avoid talking about negative events in the families. 3. These children considered members of extended families were close and maintained intimate interactions with them. This phenomenon reflected their larger social and familial network. The images of older siblings were positive and competent. This reflected that older siblings played the role transferring knowledge. 4. The results also revealed their subjectivity in constructing their lives. Finally, implications and suggestions for future studies and teaching were provided.
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