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How are the relationships between researching play and children changing?

Jones, Phil and El Gemayel, Sandra and Salema, Yaspia and Flewitt, Rosie (2020) How are the relationships between researching play and children changing? In: Routledge International Handbook of Play, Therapeutic Play and Play Therapy. Routledge. ISBN 9780367347017

Restricted to Repository staff only until 31 May 2022.

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Play does not happen in a sealed vacuum, and it is practised in myriad ways across time and cultures. One way of thinking about research in the field is how shifts in culture, politics, policy and environment change how children play and how adults relate to child play. Innovations in play research have been versatile and responsive to the emergent contexts of play: from enquiry that explores the impact of gender or poverty on play to research that is constructed appropriately to conduct sensitive enquiry into play therapy. This chapter explores and problematises interdisciplinary connections between play, the new sociology of childhood and children’s rights. It examines how this relationship creates questions and new opportunities concerning how children and adults engage in research together. Three examples from contemporary projects illustrate how recent developments are resulting in important changes and innovation in how research, children and play relate to each other. The first concerns a ‘day in the life’ methodology (Gillen et_al., 2007; Gillen & Cameron, 2010), the second ‘child conferencing’ (Huser, 2015) and the third a children as researchers approach (Jones et_al., 2018).

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