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ERIC Number: EJ948998
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 44
ISSN: ISSN-1745-7823
In the Thick of It: Interpreting Children's Play
Richards, Christopher
Ethnography and Education, v6 n3 p309-324 2011
This article offers a narrative account of a research enquiry focused on children's play in one London primary school playground. The central question addressed by the article is that of how to determine what meanings the children give to their play activities. The initial sketch of the methods used in the research is followed by a series of reflections on the process of attributing meaning to the play observed and primarily documented through the use of video camcorders. Emphasising that the interpretive attribution of meaning is always also an engagement with the participants' own pre-interpretations, the article draws attention to the particular difficulties faced in attempting to articulate and confirm the meanings produced by young children. Using a variety of examples drawn from the video records, the article traces the complexities--especially in terms of gender, age and institutional relations--of pursuing and seeking to fix the meanings of transient, highly ephemeral, events. The immediacy, affective intensity and speed of the children's play constitute a serious challenge to adult approaches privileging commentary, reflection and explanation for non-participant others.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (London)