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[Xmca-l] Re: Do adults play?
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- Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Do adults play?
- From: Greg Thompson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Mon, 21 Oct 2013 15:18:31 -0600
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Thanks much for this reply (as well as your earlier one on the other
Your email makes me want to say what I just playfully said to Larry, that
indeed, "all adults ever do is play."
Is it not adults who are constantly at play?
We adults inhabit these imagined worlds in which we fancy the Emperor to be
wearing an array of beautiful and exquisite vestements.
Along comes the foolish child, incapable of real play, shouting "But he
isn't wearing anything at all!"
Foolish child, you will soon enough to learn to play like the rest of us.
A wider scope of vision indeed - so wide that we can even see what is not
Mind the gap,
On Mon, Oct 21, 2013 at 12:52 AM, vwilk <email@example.com> wrote:
> Not so very long ago, October 13 in fact, Douglas Williams in answer to
> Caitlin's request turned his hand to a Socratic dialogue, and Phillip White
> followed up the same day by recalling Bateson's metalogue, "Why do
> Frenchmen." I myself have been working on a General Systems Theory
> approach to allegoresis and hermeneutics -- they said it can't be done!
> So, just like the guy who built "Swamp Castle" in Monty Python and the
> Holy Grail, I just have to do it to show it can be done! In this
> discussion, there is a problem in the narrowness of the focus on what can
> be seen in the pre-verbal activities of one year olds.
> The discussion must be given a framework to make sense. We have to define
> the context in general as we home in on the "specific strip" that is to be
> our focus. Well, framing turns out to be quite a big deal because we have
> to say "framings", realizing that there is going to be a large amount of
> overlap, and some things will not become coherent until they are viewed
> through multiple frames. Gregory Bateson spoke of multiple versions of the
> world and multiple versions of relationship. Quite incidently, I recently
> saw a youtube of Allan G. Hunter discussing "Brothers Grim vs. Disney:
> Recovering the Wisdom Lost to Commercialism. Greg Thompson mentions
> Bakhtin's work with Rabelais, but we can go back to Golden Ass of Apuleius,
> Boccaccio, and Chaucer and for story games and not leave out mimicking,
> parody, satire, and other forms of representation. I put "specific strip"
> in quotations because I am invoking Goffman's Frame Analysis, the
> introduction to which in all deep scholarly seriousness is a hilarious
> tour de force on parenthetic reasoning.
> Fairy Tales and Fantasy are as much for adults, or more so, as children,
> and all human behavior, if it can be observed and described, can then be
> discussed, and who is doing the discussing? A linguist, a psychologist, a
> philosopher, an economist, and a physicist? We could go to Northrup Frye's
> Anatomy of Criticism to set up a provisional frame work, then give John
> Dewey a chance to frame the situation. New information would appear in the
> moire pattern. You would need abduction to borrow the knowledge of observed
> processes from one context for use in another, and yet this works. We can
> take Caillois' Les Jeux et Les Hommes (1952) as a starting point, although,
> as Phillip White pointed out Huizinga stepped in earlier with "homo ludens"
> (1938). Then, of course, everything about Games with players comes in with
> von Neumann's Theory of Games and Economic behavior. You see, as a General
> Systems Theorist, I see that the theories bound together by correspondences
> and interconnections require that a discussion begin with start point, for
> example, a provisional definition of the system, a sketching in, knowing
> that the mapping would be revised communally, though "the final
> (provisional!) report" would have the name of the researcher/s.
> Nonetheless, the system will be in a context and have subsystems and
> immediate, proximate, and global contexts. Moreover, we had better define
> the "system" and clarify the nature of the "strip" which we are discussing,
> and then see what wealth of insight is produced by a refining procedure and
> perhaps a collection of keywords. These terms I use, "strip" "keyword"
> "moire pattern" are a collection of random "tools".
> I'm sure we have gotten closer already to a discussion of play in
> adulthood than indicated by Greg. We have wider scope of vision, learning,
> and experience among ourselves than indicated by this plea for "leads on
> the role of play in adulthood" ... an anthropological and educational
> framing WITH wide general reading might help us establish a clearer sense
> of where we have gotten to and where we are going.
> (2013/10/21 12:22), Greg Thompson wrote:
>> If so, what does it look like?
>> I looked back at the suggestions sent to Caitlin Wubbena who had asked
>> about the role of play in places like academia. It seemed like very few of
>> the responses spoke to play in adulthood and fewer spoke to play in
>> So I'm wondering is the problem here that CHAT theorists are only
>> interested in "play" as a thing that gets the child into a more expansive
>> world (cf. Beth's concurrent thread on play among 1 year-olds)? Or is
>> a literature on "play" across the lifespan? And to my opening question:
>> what would "play" look like in adolescence or adulthood?
>> So, does anyone have any good leads on the role of play in adulthood?
>> Seems like Bakhtin's work on Rabelais might be a start? But I don't know
>> enough about his work to know if Bakhtin was using the concept of "play."
>> (and other great satirists come to mind as well - Laurence Sterne's
>> Tristram Shandy seems a nice early example of "play" in writing that goes
>> beyond mere "comedy" and into a really complex form of "play", but there
>> must be earlier examples of this type of play).
>> Any ideas?
Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
Visiting Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology
883 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602