Karrebæk, Martha Sif. ‘Healthy Beverages?: The Interactional Use of Milk, Juice and Water in an Ethnically Diverse Kindergarten Class in Denmark’. Language and Food, Ed. Polly E. Szatrowski, John Benjamins, 2014, 279–300.
This paper investigates the socialization into healthy food practices in a Danish multi-ethnic kindergarten classroom within the frameworks of Linguistic Ethnography (Creese, 2008; Rampton, Maybin & Tusting, 2007) and Language Socialization (Ochs, 1988; Schieffelin, 1990). I present micro-analyses of three situations where the health value of milk, water, and juice is topicalized. Health is a moral concept which is culturally embedded but linguistically constructed and negotiated. I discuss how learning outcomes in health educational activities depend on individuals’ understandings prior to interactions and on the process of co-ordinating understandings. Also, in children’s conversations nutritional value becomes an interactional resource. The paper contributes to prior research with a micro-analytic perspective on the role of health education in wider processes of social exclusion and intercultural (mis)understandings.