https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03637751.2012.672998">
 

Title

The problems with praise in parent-teacher interaction

Abstract

This research advances our understanding of what constitutes ‘‘a compliment’’ and ‘‘self- praise’’ in social interaction. Examining video-recorded naturally occurring parent teacher conference interactions, this article demonstrates that participants treat utterances that praise nonpresent students as implicating praise of parents: parents respond to teachers’ student-praising utterances as compliments; teachers laugh after they explicitly credit student success to parents, displaying their orientation to these crediting utterances as delicate because they leak teachers’ evaluation of parents based upon students’ performance in school; and parents work to avoid articulating student-praising utterances, thereby avoiding implications of self-praise. This research thus reveals that, rather than affording a mutually enjoyable moment of celebration transparently supportive of social solidarity, the action of praising students occasions interactional problems for conference participants.

Publication Date

6-2012

Journal Title

Communication Monographs

Publisher

Taylor & Francis

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03637751.2012.672998

Document Type

Article