Re: [xmca] sense and meaning

From: Peter Smagorinsky (
Date: Wed Jul 13 2005 - 13:06:15 PDT

I don't interpret Vygotsky to be talking exclusively about
what Michael describes as play. I've described it as
experimentation, which is a form of "playing" with
boundaries, assumptions, and so forth, whether it's fun and
carefree or dead serious. Peter

---- Original message ----
>Date: Wed, 13 Jul 2005 10:40:34 -0700
>From: Wolff-Michael Roth <>
>Subject: Re: [xmca] sense and meaning
>On 13-Jul-05, at 10:03 AM, Ana Marjanovic-Shane wrote:
>> Wolff-Michael,
>> I think that play begins before  or at the same time as
>> Bruner described "peeka-a-boo" as very early forms of
play that adults
>> introduce, but it quickly becomes "asked for" by children.
>I think that rather than beginning with play--which for all
I know may
>be a particular activity form in Western bourgeois culture
(do all
>cultures engage in the same forms of play, in activities
that you
>denote as play? do all people in the Western culture do it
this way? or
>do workers, people in poverty, the down and out interact
with their
>children in the same way?--begin with a cultural historical
>For beginners, see what beings with early, rudimentary
cultural forms
>do, like the apes, whales, and some monkeys.
>Don't begin your analysis with play, for play is may be a
>preconstructed category (see Bourdieu on the danger of
working with
>such categories).
>So when and how did "play" emerge from what humans did,
>when did "play" become a category for us that we
distinguish from other
>things we do. Certainly, wolf cubs "playing" in front of
their den do
>not "think" of what they do as "play".
>Similarly, children in their cribs, just born, do
not "think" of what
>they do as "play"; children "play" and know to "play" much
later in
>their lives, and you got to get there from the beginning,
showing how
>consciousness unfolds until it gets to the split between
play and other
>activity forms.
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