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ERIC Number: ED275397
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Oct
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
The Denial of Play.
Sutton-Smith, Brian
Well meaning parents and teachers often use children's play for the purposes of literacy and socialization. Yet, these attempts may deny play to children by subordinating play to some other concept. Evidence shows that even when parents play with their very young children they generally play games like shopping, cooking, and eating; whereas when the same children play with their siblings they are more likely to play monsters, killing, or going to the moon. Children's literature, fairy tales, and nursery rhymes have been bowdlerized on behalf of a more innocent childhood. Cinderella's sisters used to cut the toes off their feet to get them in the slipper, producing blood all over, and they were ultimately punished when ravens pecked their eyes out. These versions do not exist in The Golden Books. Social science textbooks on child development also fail to include children's folk play. This century has subsumed play to cravings for leisure, to idealizations of childhood, and to all those psychological processes that have come to be regarded as of first line importance. Play has been sanitized through identifying it with a variety of other "cleaner" human functions--exploration, mastery, problem solving, and imagination. Those who deny children adequate play opportunity may well be taking the zest out of childhood. (HOD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the "Hot Housing of Children" Symposium (Philadelphia, PA, October 25-26, 1985).