CulturePlay-Spring2008 - Culture and Play ALD 321 Spring...

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Unformatted text preview: Culture and Play ALD 321 Spring 2008 Play Across Cultures Children around the world play in some way. Variety in play depends upon -values -practices -tools -beliefs -institutions -culture Questions to understand Play in culture Do children play to replicate customs from their cultures? How significant is culture for play, and in what ways does culture appear in play? How is gender represented in play? Ethnography One of the methodology to study culture Rich and thick descriptions of a group based on intensive observations and interviews of people Looking at what people ordinarily do not in laboratory or contrived situations and finding meanings In play study: Observe play and try to find what it means The work of Helen Schwartzman (1978) Published a book, Transformations: The Anthropology of Children's Play in 1978 Provided an extensive review of cross cultural research on play Believed that children's play is a form of socialization into culture. Helen Schwartzman (1978), Transformations: The Anthropology of Children's Play Metaphors of play Copycat- imitative -Play allows children to practice what they see adult doing and to do the same when they grow up. - Groos' idea on practice play Personality trainee- acquiring a sense of how to act - Play is a way of formation of personality - Freud's psychodynamics Critic - commenting on their own life and what they see Nature-nurture debates How Play Has Been Studied Across Cultures ? Game Diffusion Play Functions Projecting Personality Communication Subjectively Meaningful Events How Play Has Been Studied Across Cultures Game Diffusion Play types are spread -from "higher" culture to "lower" culture -from "superior" to "lesser" culture -from "civilized" to "primitive" societies Seen as ethnocentric or racist thinking today How Play Has Been Studied Across Cultures Play Functions Links play to the culture in which it takes place/socialization and normalization Developmental assumption about how play serves human development Projecting Personality Play as a self expression Related to Freud's work How Play Has Been Studied Across Cultures Communication Frames reflect unique cultural meanings Related to the work of Bateson's theory of play frame and Garvey's theory of language tools Subjectively Meaningful Events play provides cognitive meaning for players : "minding play" Related to the works of Piaget and Vygotsky Schwartzman's Conclusions on Definitions of Play Lack of a common definition of play Play is nurtured in many different ways by the unique aspects of cultures. Play must be considered as "text in context, and context in text" Play reflects AND shapes experience. Slaughter & Dombrowski (1989) "Culture should be expanded to include a focus on intergenerational transmission of behavior in both culturally continuous and discontinuous contexts" Continuous- culture remained in place for generations Discontinuous- due to migration children encounter multiple cultural influences Slaughter & Dombrowski (1989) Cont'd "If we subscribe to classic descriptions of play, based on Western cultural norms, then any differences we see in play of non-Western children could mistakenly be associated with other developmental deficits (e.g., school achievement) unless we situate differences in play within their larger cultural and social ecology." (Frost, Wortham, & Reifel, 2008, p.204) Cultural Influences on Play Family Play Group Play Gender Play ...
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