Play and constructs of childhood

Sorin, Reesa, and Torzillo, Miriam (2018) Play and constructs of childhood. Journal of Playwork Practice, 4 (2). pp. 97-116.

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Children and childhood have been conceptualised in various ways over the years. One early conceptualisation of childhood was that of the child as evil, based on the concept of original sin, as children were a product of their parents’ intimacy. Within this construct, children are seen as destructive and driven by their own needs, pleasures and desires. Based on this construct, the adult is seen as the ‘good’ one, whose duty it is to keep the moral order and instil obedience. Interactions between the child and the adult are unequal – the adult holds all the power and the child, who is considered a threat, is more or less powerless. The adult is always right and children should ‘speak only when spoken to’, with a strong need for discipline. ‘Spare the rod and spoil the child’ is an example of adults conceptualising children as evil. Play, in this conceptualisation, might be seen as problematic, an imposition on the adult world. Play is therefore restricted, adult-controlled and rule-bound, with little room for choice or initiative on the part of the child. This article examines 10 constructs of childhood (Sorin and Galloway, 2005), their relationship to adult constructs and how play would be envisaged for each of these.

Item ID: 54708
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2053-163X
Keywords: childhood; children’s rights; play; playwork practice; social constructionism
Copyright Information: Copyright © Policy Press 2017
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Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2018 23:09
FoR Codes: 39 EDUCATION > 3904 Specialist studies in education > 390499 Specialist studies in education not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9302 Teaching and Instruction > 930299 Teaching and Instruction not elsewhere classified @ 50%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939999 Education and Training not elsewhere classified @ 50%
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