Compare and contrast the approach to studying children’s friendships taken in the Bigelow and La Gaipa (1975) study with that taken by William Corsaro.
This essay will be looking into the research into children’s friendships that was carried out by Brian Bigelow, John La Gaipa and William Corsaro. I will be looking at the similarities and differences between the work that Bigelow and La Gaipa carried out compared to the work by Corsaro. I will be looking at What they studied, the methods used and what they found from the research.
Brian Bigelow and John La Gaipa (1975) carried out a study into a subject that little was known about at the time, a study on children’s friendships. They wanted to explore what children’s understanding of friendship was and how it changed within different age groups. The research began with Bigelow and La Gaipa asking children to write an essay about their best friend, what the expectations were from this friend and how these differed from the expectations of other friends. The one stipulation the children had was that the best friend they wrote about had to be of the same sex.
In all, Bigelow and La Gaipa had collected 480 essays from children ranging in age from six years old to fourteen years old. The children recruited to take part in this research were taken from eight different schools, came from upper working class and lower middle class families from Ontario Canada. From each of the eight schools thirty girls and thirty boys were selected.
Prior to the research beginning, Bigelo and La Gaipa compiled a list of twenty one different categories of friendship expectations which they would use to analyze the children’s essays with. This approach is known as content analysis as the researchers used the written material (essays) and counted how many of the pre selected categories appeared in them.
Once the researchers had the essays and carried out he content analysis, they were able to see if any...