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Family Negotiation: An Analysis of Trajectory and Strategic Interplay

Kristine Anne Van Hamersveld


Marjorie Harness Goodwin

UCLA Sloan Center on Everyday Lives of Families
Working Paper No. 58


Drawing on video footage of the every day lives and routines of five dual wage earner families from UCLA’s Center for the Everyday Lives of Families, this paper investigates the structure and strategies used by parents and children of five families during negotiation sequences. All in all, twenty-three strategies were identified, each of which are explained and exemplified in partial transcripts of these negotiation interactions. Negotiation trajectories are discussed in relationship to the language events that occur in each of four distinct sections: Pre Negotiation, Negotiation, Post-Negotiation, and Non-Negotiation. Additionally, five of the transcripts were converted into graphs which clearly display the change from each phase to the next. This study draws attention to the situational nature of the negotiations in the context of broader family interaction and the co-constructive nature of strategic interplay between parents and children.

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