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Playing with social identities: play in the everyday life of a peer group in day care

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This chapter offers support for Vygotsky’s claim that all play involves both an imagined situation as well as rules. Synthesising Schousboe’s comprehensive model of spheres of realities in playing (see Chapter 1, this volume) with Lev Vygotskys insight that all playing involve rules as well as pretence, children’s play is understood as an activity involving rules of the social order (roles and positions) as well as identification processes (imagined situations). The theoretical argumentation builds on empirical examples obtained in two different Danish day-care centres. The chapter is informed by ethnographic observations and draws on illustrative examples with symbolic group play as well as game-play with rules (soccer) among 5 year old boys. Findings suggest that day-care children’s play, involves negotiation of roles, positioning and identification, and rules – and that these negotiations are intrinsically concerned with processes of social identities, both those that are anchored in the social reality as well as those anticipated and imagined
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChildren's play and development : cultural-historical perspectives
Number of pages26
PublisherSpringer Publishing Company
Publication year2013
ISBN (print)978-94-007-6578-8
ISBN (Electronic)978-94-007-6579-5
Publication statusPublished - 2013
SeriesInternational perspectives on early childhood education and development

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