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16 Cards in this Set

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Play

- Evident cross culturally


- differs according to age and gender


- seen to make children's world as distinct from adults


- can be explained through Romantic discourses = free exploration


OR


- can be explained through Puritan discourse = animal origins of play, expression of base instincts (children had to be saved from the worst excesses of themselves through strict training and sound teaching)


- can be seen in terms of development, emotional well-being or social roles and positions in society


- conjures up ideas that revolve around the relationship between child and toy rather than play without a toy

Play:


Cultural differences

- DUKAN: Sudanese village children acting out babies dying, children rehearsing possible future roles


- Wrestling among minority world boys can be seen as boys just letting off steam (playing for plays sake)

Academics view play as:

- a means to an end; helps children to grow into contributing, acceptable adult members of society (adults in the making)

Role play (socio-dramatic play)

- children making sense of their world (understanding others, learning about social roles, acquiring language)


- important to a child's sense of self (imagine themselves in different roles, develop a sense of themselves as individuals ie. Sudanese girls doing housework AND collecting wood as part of their role play)

Opie and Opie

children inhabit a separate subculture:


- that should be understood in its own right and not only part of becoming an adult


- subculture plays down effects of relations with adults which is problematic as majority of their time is spent with adults

Concerted cultivation

describes how every parent-child interaction and routine becomes a learning opportunity


eg.


- reading bedtime story = encourages early reading


- Mealtime conversation = encourages vocabulary

Parental involvement


(parent-child interactions, especially Mothers)

- contributes to educational success


- Mother-child play is NOT universal (can be related to minority world ethnocentrism)


- Rare beyond minority world with possible reasons being infant mortality rates


[Importance of parent-child bond and play links to Bowlby: attachment theory, lack of maternal input can lead to mental health problems later in life.]


- Increasing parental intervention makes the notion of childhood as a separate culture harder to sustain as does intertwining play, work and learning in the majority world

Play, work and learning in the majority world

- Katz studied Sudanese village life which was full of agriculture, animal husbandry and forestry


- here knowledge passes on through generations through:


instruction


demonstration


riddles and songs


shared adult-child activities


demonstrating that PLAY, WORK AND LEARNING MUST BE BLENDED




THIS AND THE PREVIOUS EXAMPLES EMPHASIZE THE NEED TO CONSIDER WIDER CULTURAL CONTEXTS OF CHILDREN'S LIVES OUTSIDE OF PEER RELATIONS = PROBLEM WITH CHILDHOOD AS A SEPARATE CULTURE

Manufactured toys

- not involved in British children's play until mid 19th Century


- hoops, spinning tops, rag dolls and balls were made from every day objects


- manufactured toys were a privilege for the wealthy minority


- those found in museums now are likely to be designed for adults or ones for wealthy children


- 20th century saw expansion of mass produced factory made toys and toys were no longer a luxury item



Commercialisation of play

- mass marketing and the use of TV to promote toys meant commercial toys were firmly established within play


- economic interests rather than desire to inspire and educate are motivating toy design and development, creating an 'I want' culture

Good and bad toys

- 'play is the work of children and their tools' has informed almost a century of work and focused on play as a process of intellectual, emotional and social development rather than the toy


- different toys are deemed appropriate and sometimes necessary for different stages of development (encountered at the wrong stage may hinder development)


- a fixation on intellectual and social development may ignore broader meanings and emotions attached to toys


- by the 50's: toy guns incite aggression, Barbie dolls have an unrealistic figure and pester power means pressure for parents, all of which influenced the rise of educational toys

Folklore and traditional games

- traditional games are supposed to be in decline


but are re-emerging throughout generations


- 19th century = people thought this too, due to the railways


- 20th century = people thought this was due to the radio, gramophones, pop music and computer games


- folklore is not static, it is always changing and evolving, eg. Barbie girls song changing into Teenage girls song (Grugeon, playground cultures)


- the alteration of rhymes and games could be an explanation for the concern of traditional play demise

Digital media

- influences contemporary play activities


- commercialisation of toys also influences contemporary play activities


- Grugeon = children absorb these influences into their overall play experience eg. running and chasing games taking on the theme of a computer game, such as Pokemon


- research shows traditional games are not marginalised or threatened by digital media


[Links to crisis of childhood and that the perception of the 'golden age' is cyclic and not new]

Imaginative play

- can be a social activity


- can also be solitary (especially at home)


- usually short lived, as a single game


BUT


- can also continue for years


- today it can take on a digital character ie. virtual worlds such as SimCity and Minecraft


- adults also engage in this type of play (imaginary virtual worlds)

Play and inclusion and exclusion

- play and the process of inclusion and exclusion creates social hierarchies


- children have to choose who will be included and excluded which produces power relations and social hierarchies among children


- children may devise many ways of excluding - drawing on sexism, racism (cultural stereotypes and popular prejudices)



Play and gender

- Thorne found playing in single sex groups strengthened gender identities [Links to sexuality and innocence]


- 'Borderwork' points to significance of gender in children's cultural worlds; characterises the ways on which children tend to form single sex friendship groups; they serve to create and strengthen gender boundaries


- 'Border-crossing' = disrupting gender defined boundaries eg. girls identifying as 'tom-boys', which provided an identity through which they could escape from 'hetero sexualised' practices, form strong friendships with boys and engage in 'male' activities