MetaTOC stay on top of your field, easily

Accomplishing irony: Socializing foster children into peer culture

, ,

Child & Family Social Work

Published online on


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.