Researching Childhood Emotion: Using Performative Methodologies to Engage With Children's Emerging Understandings of Emotion

Abstract

This case study examines how performative methodologies can offer opportunities for children to represent their emerging knowledges of the constructed and embodied dimensions of emotional experiences. I show how children’s dramatised performances reveal how they appropriate the discourses of emotion (constructed emotion) available to them within the school setting. In addition, I consider how children’s embodied knowledges of emotion (embodied emotion) constituted through their engagement in a wide range of contexts over time intersect with the ways in which they make meaning of such discourses. I suggest that as children create and perform imagined scenarios around childhood emotion at school, the intersections between these two forms of emotional knowledge are made visible. To do so, the case draws on a collaborative ethnography with children aged 9 and 10 years in a primary school setting. More specifically, it examines an extract from a written transcript of a videoed impromptu performance about peer-bullying by a group of three girls participating in the research project.

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