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Revista de Etologia

versão impressa ISSN 1517-2805versão On-line ISSN 2175-3636


CARVALHO, Ana Maria Almeida  e  PEDROS, Maria Isabel. Territoriality and social construction of space in children's play. Rev. etol. [online]. 2004, vol.6, n.1, pp. 63-69. ISSN 1517-2805.

In order to illustrate the social construction of space and the phenomenon of territoriality, free play episodes among 2-6 year-old children, selected from video-records taken at a day-care center, are presented. The selection was guided by the identification of interactional sequences in which either individual children or groups of children delimit, defend / fight over, or try to have access to particular spatial areas, in the course of several play modalities. The analysis highlights children's early capacities in terms of social use of space, construction and management of social relations. The use of "territoriality" and other terms to refer to temporary control over space is discussed and contrasted with the strictly biological and with the geopolitical uses of the concept. Functional distinctions between these several situations where the concept is used are suggested. It is proposed that, in the present case, territorial behaviors have communication functions, express interpersonal connections in the group and are part of the process of identity construction.

Palavras-chave : Child-child interaction; Territoriality; Identity.

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