|Author(s)||Mary Shin Kim|
|Title||The practice of praising one’s own child in parent-to-parent talk|
|Tag(s)||EMCA, Assessment, Praise, Telephone calls, Korean, News, Parent-to-parent talk, Self-praise|
This study examines an underexplored area of self-praise: parents praising their own children. An examination of a corpus of Korean telephone conversational data reveals that the act of praising one’s own child is prevalent in parent-to-parent talk despite the social and interactional constraints on behavior that might be viewed as biased or bragging. In fact, such self-praise is not always treated as interactionally problematic and is often initiated by co-participants of the talk. This conversation analytic study identifies routine features and structures of this type of self-praise and shows when they emerge, how they are formulated and how they are responded to by recipients. The analysis shows what makes the self-praise possible or appropriate in interaction and highlights two common practices. In one, a praiseworthy matter about the speaker’s child is brought up by a co-participant, and the speaker takes the opportunity to praise the child. Thus, rather than directly praising the child, the speaker acts as an informant who is simply supplying more noteworthy details to add to the co-participant’s favorable account. In the other practice, a speaker conveys a praiseworthy matter as a piece of news about the child. By doing so, the speaker provides a rationale (informing the recipient) while at the same time eliciting the recipient’s uptake (assessment or appreciation). The study illustrates how self-praise plays an integral role in parental communities as parents engage in sharing and celebrating children’s milestones, achievements, or growth.