The Social Function of Gossip Among Young Children

유아 간 가십(Gossip)의 사회적 기능

  • Jang, Hyun Jin (Dept. of Early Childhood Education, Korean Bible University)
  • 장현진 (한국성서대학교 영유아보육학과)
  • Received : 2019.07.30
  • Accepted : 2019.09.15
  • Published : 2019.09.30


Objective: This study examined the gossip, an evaluative conversation about an absent third party, through qualitative research methods, and explored the subjects and the social function of gossip among young children. Methods: The subject of this study included 24 five-year-olds children in Somang class at Baram kindergarten in Seoul. The data consisted of 20 participant observation, 2 in-depth interviews with the teacher, and informal interviews with the children. Results: The subjects of gossip among young children were peers, teachers, and family members. The social function of gossip among children was strengthening peer relationship, selecting peers, confirming rules, and pleasure. The results of this study confirmed that children are sensitive observers of their surroundings and that their peers, teachers, and families are important beings with influence in their lives. It also showed that children's gossip was a social conversation in which children build peer relationships, learn norms and experience pleasant emotions. Conclusion/Implications: This study has the significance of providing various perspectives on the socialization process of young children by looking at gossip which was perceived as a negative image, from a new perspective.

본 연구는 부재한 제 3자에 관한 평가적 대화인 가십(Gossip)을 질적 연구방법으로 고찰한 것으로, 유아간 가십의 대상과 사회적 기능에 대해 탐구했다. 연구대상은 서울시에 위치한 바람유치원 만 5세 소망반 유아들이다. 자료수집으로는 20회의 참여관찰과 2회의 교사와의 심층면담, 유아와의 비공식적 면담이 실시되었다. 연구결과, 유아들은 또래, 교사, 가족을 대상으로 또래와 가십을 나누었다. 또한 유아 간 가십은 또래 관계 강화, 또래 선택, 규칙 확인, 즐거움이라는 사회적 기능을 갖고 있었다. 본 연구결과는 유아들이 자신의 주변에 대한 민감한 관찰자이며, 또래, 교사, 가족이 그들의 삶에 영향력을 지닌 중요한 존재임을 확인시켜준다. 그리고 유아 간 가십은 유아들이 또래관계를 구축하고, 규준을 학습하며, 즐거운 정서를 경험하는 사회적 대화임을 보여준다. 본 연구는 지금까지 부정적 이미지로 그려졌던 가십을 새로운 관점으로 살펴보고, 유아의 사회화 과정에 관한 다양한 시각을 제공하였다는 의의를 지닌다.



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