Accomplishing irony: socializing foster children into peer culture

C.H.C.J. van Nijnatten, M. Matarese, M. Noordegraaf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Parents indirectly influence their children's peer interactions by implicit socialization and directly
by interference. They influence their (young) children's doings by supervising their contacts with
friends, monitoring where they go, and facilitating their meetings with friends at home.
Adolescents' growing orientation to peers is often at the cost of direct contact with their parents.
Potentially, conversations with adolescent children become significant moments for parents to
collect information about their children's social lives, preparing them for the challenges of their
preadult social life. We studied conversations between in state‐created family homes amongst
foster parents (FPs) and out‐of‐home‐placed adolescents, to see how FPs prepare foster
adolescents to deal with the dynamics of peer culture, specifically in mocking practices. We are
interested in the pedagogical role of FPs in these practices. We find that peer culture behavior
is expressed in the context of family homes. Rather than preparing adolescents for peer culture
indirectly by discussing possible, or hypothetical, situations, FPs react directly to peer culture
expressions at the dinner table. In their approach, FPs demonstrate that peer culture membership
is not just an interactional competence but also a teachable issue.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalChild and Family Social Work
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • adolescence
  • communication and child social work
  • discourse analysis
  • family social work
  • parenting or parenthood


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