The Hidden Life of Girls: Games of Stance, Status, and Exclusion
December 2006, Wiley-Blackwell
In this ground-breaking ethnography of girls on a playground, Goodwin offers a window into their complex social worlds.
- Combats stereotypes that have dominated theories on female moral development by challenging the notion that girls are inherently supportive of each other
- Examines the stances that girls on a playground in a multicultural school setting assume and shows how they position themselves in their peer groups
- Documents the language practices and degradation rituals used to sanction friends and to bully others
- Part of the Blackwell Studies in Discourse and Culture Series
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.
- Combats stereotypes that have dominated theories on female
moral development by challenging the notion that girls are
inherently supportive of each other.
- Examines the stances that girls on a playground in a
multicultural school setting assume and shows how they position
themselves in their peer groups.
- Documents the language practices and degradation rituals used to sanction friends and to bully others.
” 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
“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.”
“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