UCLA Sloan Center on Everyday Lives of Families Working Paper No. 88 2009
This paper examines sibling interaction in the Walters family, a dual income earner family in Southern California. We look at a range of everyday routines--getting dressed, brushing teeth, reading storybooks, repeating words, and playful jousting--in order to understand how the siblings of the Walters family actively create a rich environment for early learning and a family ethos of care. We are particularly interested in examining the careful alignments of participation, closely coordinated timing, and attunements of joint attention that characterize the interaction between the siblings of the Walters family. Our analysis draws on the notion of “participation” as the jointly constructed unfolding of interaction in which interlocutors build larger events through moment-to-moment collaborative action. We investigate how the larger routines of the family and uses of household space contribute to the positive interactions between the Walters’ children and well being of the family.