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ERIC Number: EJ1051274
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1463-9491
Reconceptualizing Play: Aesthetic Self-Definitions
Guss, Faith
Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, v6 n3 p233-243 2005
This article aims to trouble the identity of children's dramatic play(ing). It contains two interweaving threads of discourse. In one thread lies a discussion of how children can trouble and extend their own identities through the aesthetic form-languages and conventions they employ and deploy in their dramatic playing/pretend playing. Whereas adults exchange thoughts verbally, children enter the play-arena and converse and reflect with, and in, dramatic form-languages. In dramatic form, through taking the perspective of, and momentarily becoming, The Other, the children problematize and construct temporary identities. In each dramatic enactment they are in a reflective process of becoming. In the second thread of discourse, the article troubles the theoretical identity of dramatic playing--as it is perceived in the dominant play theory of sociology, which defines playing as reproduction. This issue is addressed through the aesthetic concept of mimesis, by which playing is defined as critical transformation. In the interpretative work the author shows how, in the privacy of the children's play-culture, they have the cultural occasion, space, and liberty to take control: to question, to speak for themselves, to represent, transform and define themselves. The players can experiment with standpoints, redefine their identities and, thereby, take back their power of self-definition. Cultural hegemony can be turned on its head.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Norway
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A