1st Edition

Re-imagining Playwork through a Poststructural Lens Stories from the Climbing Frame

By Linda Jane Shaw Copyright 2023
    146 Pages
    by Routledge

    146 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book explores how poststructural theory can make an important contribution to the growing body of work on playwork as an academic field of practice and research.

    Drawing on theoretical concepts used by sociologists and philosophers, such as the sociological imagination (Mills); hauntings and the fictive (Derrida) and technologies of power and the self (Foucault), the text considers how these devices may be methodologically productive for playwork research. It reframes research into children and childhood as a process in which research and practice are connected but diverse skills. The book raises questions around power and voice, and highlights the complexity of research which involves human participants and their roles as researcher and/or researched. Chapters relate concepts from post-structural, feminist research and frame them within the context of playwork practice through the use of vignettes constructed from stories told by playwork practitioners and the children with whom they work.

    A valuable addition to an emerging academic field, this book will be of great interest to researchers and students in the fields of playwork research, education and youth studies, early childhood students, and the sociology of education.



    Chapter 1: Foundations: Swings, roundabouts, and moving parts

    Chapter 2: Where is Emile?: Seeking the playfulness in childhoods past, present, and yet to come

    Chapter 3: Beyond the climbing frame: Imagining a poststructural playwork paradigm

    Chapter 4: In and out the windows: Exploring heterotopia and playwork spaces

    Chapter 5: Clambering through everyday utopian playwork

    Chapter 6: Playing with the feminists

    Chapter 7: Language play and the troublesome fictive

    Chapter 8: The end of the game




    Linda Jane Shaw is Senior Lecturer in Early Childhood Studies and Education at Oxford Brookes University, UK.