Vol. 23 (2015)

Why 'Yuh' Talking to 'Yuhself'? Exploring Role Identity Through Conversation Analysis: Implications for Curriculum and Teaching

Raymond A. Dixon
University of Idaho, College of Education
Hope Mayne
University of Technology (UTech) and Caribbean Association of Home Economists (CAHE)


  • Primary School Students,
  • Play,
  • Role Playing,
  • Identity,
  • Self Concept,
  • Imagination,
  • Conversation Analysis,
  • Jamaica
  • ...More


This qualitative study used a modified form of conversion analysis to explore role identity construction of two primary school-aged children (male and female) in the Jamaica context. The participants were engaged in an informal conversation on imaginary play with an adult. Data were collected via the video conference medium, Skype. An analysis of question-answer, lexical choice and category, and perspective-display sequence of the conversation revealed that the adult and the male child expressed concerns about the female child's engagement in imaginary play. The analysis of the conversation also revealed that both children displayed different stages of role construction during the conversation. Implicatioins for curriculum and teaching are discussed.