Teacher compassionate touch in a Japanese preschool


  • Matthew Burdelski




Affect, Children, Conversation analysis, Compassion, Japan, Preschool, Touch


This paper examines the discursive, embodied, and sequential organization of preschool teachers’ compassionate touch in interaction: physically touching a child so as to soothe and relieve the child’s distress. Utilizing multimodal conversation analysis, episodes of compassionate touch were identified and transcribed from a corpus of 48 hours of audio-visual recordings in a Japanese preschool. The analysis focuses on such touch within situations of peer conflict and accidents during play. It shows how compassionate touch was used with verbal resources and communicative practices, examines their positioning within sequences of interaction, and discusses children’s responses. The findings attempt to further our understanding of affective touch in children’s sociality and preschool childcare.


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How to Cite

Burdelski, M. (2020). Teacher compassionate touch in a Japanese preschool. Social Interaction. Video-Based Studies of Human Sociality, 3(1). https://doi.org/10.7146/si.v3i1.120248