Law, YY and Crawford, G ORCID: 2016, 'Play' , in: International Encyclopaedia of Communication Theory and Philosophy , Wiley-Blackwell, London.

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Play is something that we all do, it is often easy to recognise, but also remarkably difficult to define: ‘…we seem to intuitively know what play is, but we still have difficulty defining exactly what factors are involved in the play process’ (Lentz, 1982, p. 68). The meaning of ‘play’ and its role within society has been a subject of debate since antiquity; and providing an agreed upon definition of what constitutions play has remained both elusive and fraught with controversy. But though definitions are difficult, Avedon and Sutton-Smith (1971) suggest that it is necessary to provide ‘a frame of reference’ to contextualise and focus discussion. This entry sets out some of the key theories and debates relating to the definition of play, focusing most notably on the highly influential work of Johan Huizinga, and those who have drawn, built on and critiqued his work.

Item Type: Book Section
Editors: Jensen, KB, Craig, RT, Pooley, JD and Rothenbuhler, EW
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society > Centre for Applied Research in Health, Welfare and Policy
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISBN: 9781118766804
Funders: Non funded research
Depositing User: G Crawford
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2016 13:57
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2022 17:37

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