|dc.description.abstract||This is a case study about young children's discourses about violence. The young
children in this study attend a school that is situated in the suburb of Newlands East,
previously restricted to so-called 'Coloured' persons. The area is known for its propensity
for violence, and in schools teachers have to deal with many acts of violence on a daily
basis. The study is premised on two ideas: one, that from young children's discourse
on violence it might be possible to access their experiences, feelings, and fears
about violence in schools; and two, young children are important sources of
information in trying to understand our social order.
The methodology entailed one focus group discussion with a group of Grade Five
students. Three boys and seven girls were selected. Selection was based on their
ability to express themselves clearly and their willingness to participate voluntarily.
All participants were 'Coloured'. The facilitator of the focus group discussion was a
Grade Seven student; this was to ensure that the children's responses would not be
influenced by the presence of an adult.
The findings are organized under two subheadings: what young children say about
violence and what they say causes violence. The participants indicated that the following
constitute violence: teasing, swearing, name-calling, bullying, betrayals, competitiveness,
fighting, jealousy, stealing, hitting, racism, homosexuality, physical abuse and sexual
abuse. They have identified the following as causes of violence: teachers, friends,
physical characteristics, the home, prefects, rivalry and sexuality.
Emergent findings suggest that young children's discourses are markedly different to
adult discourses and provide key insights when trying to understand violence in schools
from a child's vantage point.||en_US