Stuart Reifel (U of Texas at Austin), Play Theorizing Panel, Thursday, 3:15pm
Stuart Reifel (U of Texas at Austin) PLAY, "play," "Play," "PLAY": BEYOND EITHER/OR, Friday, 1pm
The purpose of this presentation is to apply aspects of Sutton-Smith's rhetorics of play (from The Ambiguity of Play, 1997) to the problem of classroom research on early childhood play. The problem is disentangling our ideologies, or rhetorics, of play (Play) from children's daily experiences (play), while dealing with theories of play ("Play") and operational definitions of play ("play") as they appear in much child development research. Play, as a culturally constituted educational activity for young children, necessarily requires the simultaneous rhetorics of Progress (educational and developmental advancement), Imaginary (pretend), Communal Identity (classroom and community culture and custom), and Power (classroom social dynamics). Examples from research will demonstrate how Play, play, "Play", and "play" relate to play.
Mary Ruth Reynolds (West Georgia U) ANALYSIS OF CHILD-CONSTRUCTED STORIES, Friday, 8:30am
This presentation documents children's emergent literacy in classroom play by combining videotaping technology with child focus groups. Preschoolers in a private day care setting were invited to view tapes of their play and to respond by describing what they were playing. The audience will have an opportunity to glimpse children's perspectives on their own "story-playing", and be introduced to a process of qualitative data analysis used to identify child constructed themes from play and focus group conversations. From this "snapshot", a videotape of four-year-old children's sociodramatic play in a university day care setting, guidelines will be offered for adults to support young children's literacy learning. A model of adult/child collaboration will be discussed.
Mary Ruth Reynolds (West Georgia U), Play in Schools and Communities Panel, Thursday, 3:15pm
Warren Roberts (U of Georgia at Athens) PLAY IN APES AND HUMANS IN INFORMATION ECOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE Thursday, 8:30am
Symbolic behavior imitations are often regarded as uniquely human, with the inference that they are emergent properties of the human brain. Imitation and symbolic behaviors have been regarded as fundamental to the evolution of culture. Ape research indicates that the ecology of development has profound impacts on these abilities. Play in apes and humans share features. Apes reared in human environments demonstrate forms of play (such as symbolic play, imitative play) not seen in feral populations, but which are universal in humans regardless of cultural setting. The ecology of play (social games, scaffolding, props, etc.) has changed radically during hominization. Information ecology offers a way of viewing changes in the social and cultural environments which impact the nature of affordances offered during development. These changes effect the richness of playful contexts for developing organisms and therefore support changes in biosocial development with profound consequences for changing embodiments of culture and cultural transmission.
Ronald P. Rohner (School of Family Studies, U of Connecticut) CONTRIBUTIONS FROM CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY, Thursday, 1pm
Ronald P. Rohner (School of Family Studies, U of Connecticut) MENTAL HEALTH IMPLICATIONS OF PARENTAL ACCEPTANCE-REJECTION: OVERVIEW OF CROSS-CULTURAL AND INTRACULTURAL EVIDENCE, Saturday, 8:30am
Evidence from two major holocultural studies, and nearly 1000 intracultural studies within different communities internationally, including within every major ethnic group in the U.S., converges on the conclusion that parental rejection tends to have similar effects on humans the world over. Best established is the conclusion that parental rejection everywhere impacts negatively on children's and adults' psychological adjustment, including feelings of negative self-esteem, anger and aggression, emotional instability, and emotional unresponsiveness, among others. Intracultural evidence within the U.S. and in several international settings (but not yet holocultural evidence) also suggests that rejection in childhood is associated with depression in adolescence and adulthood. Additional evidence within the U.S. (but not yet in holocultural or international research) suggests that rejection is often associated significantly with issues such as drug and alcohol abuse; conduct problems, behavior disorders, and delinquency; cognitive and academic performance problems; a variety of psychiatric problems such as borderline personality disorder; disturbed peer, friendship, and intimate relations; and, a variety of physical and psychophysiological reactions such as certain allergies, hypertension, duodenal ulcers, and asthma, among others.
Dale Schwerdtfeger (St. Cloud State U) PLAYING FOR REAL: AMBIGUITY IN THE WORLDS OF IMAGINATION AND ACTION, Friday, 8:30am
This paper looks at the ambiguity of meaning in play-structured work by a comparing of buying and selling of martial/social competence in Japan and fantasies of sexual competence on the Gulf of Thailand. Working and playing are seen as fluid, ambiguous categories in the modern capital-driven commercial marketplace. Ambiguities in human meaning systems are not to be resolved but mined for their payoff of legitimate adaptively creative choices. Japan and Thailand provide two very different contexts in which to observe the uses of the ambiguities between play worlds and "real life". In both the worlds of martial arts training in Japan and the world of the Thai sex marketplace, individuals meet in a play world structured by commerce with the express intention of bettering their lot in the competition for real world success.
Marshall Segall (IACCP President, Syracuse U) WHY DO WE STILL HAVE RACISM IF THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS RACE?, Saturday, Noon Invited Address
An hour-long presentation, with a 30-minute film, entitled "Six Billion Races," and a discussion period. Presentation emphasizes that there are no biological barriers between the 5.7 billion human beings that today inhabit the earth. Because the physical diversity of contemporary human populations is continuous, whatever boundaries have been placed are arbitrary, even those pertaining to skin color. There is no such thing as "white people," "black people," "yellow people," or the like, except as social constructs (cultural constructions). Yet....
Dinesh Sharma (Columbia U) and Patricia Cohen (Columbia U) SOCIOCULTURAL FACTORS IN PSYCHIATRIC EPIDEMIOLOGY, Friday, 1pm
Improved theoretical and empirical observations are needed to advance our knowledge of psychopathology in different sociocultural environments. This paper will examine the role of historical and geographical variation in psychopathology from an epidemiological perspective and examine its implications for cross-cultural research. Beginning with incidence and prevalence rates of major psychiatric disorders, such as, depression and schizophrenia, issues of universality and cultural specificity will be discussed; problems of data gathering across cultures and the issues related to diagnosis using DSM IV will be outlined. While the paper will focus primarily on depressive disorders and schizophrenia, drawing on national and international studies, we will also touch upon the issue of "childhood onset" of psychiatric conditions and variation in sociocultural antecedents and consequences of such conditions. For example, the cross-cultural generalizability of the long-term effects of corporal punishment on later individual dysfunctions will be discussed. Overall, this paper will claim that the variation in psychopathology across time and place, and especially across cultures, calls for an exploration of "fundamental sociocultural processes" (e.g., family, gender roles) and "fundamental global processes" (e.g., development, urbanization) related to psychiatric conditions.
Laura S. Sidorowicz (Nassau Community College) A cross-cultural exploration of jealousy and infidelity among thais and americans, Saturday 8:30am
The interview method was utilized to gain a better understanding of the attitudes, opinions and behaviors concerning jealousy and infidelity among Thais and Americans. Jealousy and infidelity have been topics of concern in intimate relationships for quite some time. Recently, in Thailand, the issues of jealousy and infidelity have become a major topic of conversation. Daily newspaper articles report and explore the issue of unfaithful partnerships and their consequences. The same holds true in the United States. A social psychological analysis of jealousy and infidelity will be explored from a cross-cultural perspective.
Bhavani Sitaraman (U of Alabama in Huntsville) LAW AS IDEOLOGY - WOMEN, COURTS AND "DOWRY DEATHS" IN INDIA, Friday 8:30am
This paper explores the results from a qualitative analysis of Supreme Court judgments on "dowry death" cases in India. In such cases, the death of a young married woman due to severe burns is reported to the police by her family as resulting from persistent harassment for cash, jewelry or consumer goods as dowry. In the 1980s, changes in criminal law resulted in increased reporting and prosecution of "dowry death" cases in the courts. Based on a purposive sample of important cases that reached the Supreme Court, this paper argues that judgments in dowry death cases are illustrative of the cultural/ideological context in which the law operates to maintain family and gender ideology in India.
Dorothy Sluss (East Tennessee State U) and Rebecca Isbell (East Tennessee State U) PLAY IN REGGIO EMILIO PROGRAMS , Friday, 1pm
The spotlight on quality care provided for young children in Reggio, Italy has created a surge of interest in the Reggio Emilio program in this country. One of the authors was among a group of American scholars and practitioners that traveled to observe and study this approach. As interest among practitioners grows, this approach is rapidly being adapted in many childcare settings in the United States. The effects of this approach have not been thoroughly documented. Specifically, how will this approach affect play in American childcare centers? Looking at play in Italy and in America, what are the commonalties? How are they unique? These questions will be examined during this presentation as we attempt to bring this issue to the table for discussion.
Tom Sorensen (U of Oslo), Robert J. Kleiner (Temple U-Emeritus), Nils Boe (BA), Inger Sandanger (U of Oslo), Guri Ingebrigtsen (MD), Torbjorn Moum (U of Oslo) INTERACTION EFFECTS OF SOCIAL DISORGANIZATION AND PERSONAL DISORGANIZATION ON MENTAL HEALTH AND QUALITY OF LIFE IN COMMUNITY STUDIES, Friday, 1pm
Influenced by Durkheim, Faris and Dunham, Lewin and others of this genre, Leighton, in his Sterling County Study, created a detailed theoretical framework for explaining the connection between the socio-cultural structure of a local community and the amount of psychiatric disorders among the community's population. He introduced the concept of socio-cultural integration-disintegration, and showed how communities could be ordered along this dimension, and its differing effects demonstrated. Leighton looked at the community as a self-integrating and self-regulating unit, but treated the integration-disintegration concept as unidimensional, and in the main, used subjective or psychological data for describing the community. This paper is based on a study of eight community development programs. The data gathered from the study was intended to provide information considered important for the planning of these programs. In an earlier paper, the analyses focussed on the information and understanding the subjective or personal data could provide about the communities, and their effects on mental health and quality of life. In such analyses, socio-cultural properties of the communities are inferred from such data, and it is assumed that the perceptions of the individuals are reasonably accurate. Additional analyses made for this paper show that this assumption is tenuous, and we need to have measures of the socio-cultural structural properties of the community that allow for examining their independent effects and the interaction effects of the two "levels" of analyses. The data is based on eight communities and 1051 individual respondents.
Charles D. Spielberger (U of South Florida, Tampa, former APA President)Invited Keynote Address CROSS-CULTURAL MEARSUREMENT OF EMOTIONAL STATES AND PERSONALITY TRAITS, Thursday, 11am
A major task for a comprehensive theory of personality is to identify individual differences in personality traits, and to demonstrate how these are linked to emotions and behavior. Darwin observed that fear (anxiety) and rage (anger) were universal characteristics of both humans and animals, which have evolved over countless generations because these emotions mediated fight or flight reactions that facilitated successful adaptation and survival. While anxiety and anger are universal, people differ in the intensity and the frequency that these emotions are experienced, and how they are expressed in different cultures. The nature of anxiety and anger will be examined from the perspective of how these emotional states and personality traits are measured in cross-cultural research.
Annie Stanger (Boone, NC) PLAY IS TO LEISURE AS LEISURE IS TO LOVE, Thursday, 3:15pm
Generally the public believes that we play for one or more of the following three reasons: 1) to fill up existing free time, 2) to improve/maintain our health (thus as a refreshment for work) and/or 3) to release the pent-up emotions necessary to facilitate relaxation (as a means of cartharsis). Likewise contemporary society defines leisure as time free from work, as recreation activity and/or relaxation. Obviously a close relationship exists between play and leisure in the post-modern world. Scholars profess instead that leisure is a state of mind or of being. To me, this is a state free from time, and thus open to experiences of meaningfulness and the unity that can, if also noticed, be its outcome. More specifically, this state stems from recognition and/or acceptance, in some "new" configuration, of some aspect/version of the self (ves). The purpose of this paper is to reestablish that relationship and, then to make it clear.
James Starr (Howard U) QUALIFYING OUR JUDGEMENTS: ETHNOCENTRISM AND CONTEXT, Friday, 8:30am
Starr (1992) presented empirical evidence for the meaningful effect of differential contexting biases on judgments made by African-American participants. Data came from an experiential exercise that featured ratings of the behavior of the actors in similar "news" stories structured to differ in the cultural-salience of the principals. The current study used a different set of "news" stories to once again demonstrate differential contexting biases--this time for several cultural groups at once. The nature of both the stories used in this investigation and the results are discussed in terms compatible with systems approaches and suggest bases for important theoretical rapprochement.
Deborah A. Stiles (Webster U), Judith L. Gibbons (St. Louis U), Suneetha S. de Silva (Southern Illinois U), Daniel J. Sebben (Webster Groves High School) SELF PORTRAITS AND SELF DESCRIPTIONS OF YOUNG ADOLESCENT BOYS FROM SOUTH AFRICA, SRI LANKA, AND THE UNITED STATES, Thursday, 8:30am
Three samples from South Africa, Sri Lanka, and the U.S.A. of young adolescent boys (11- through 14-years-old) matched for age and father's occupation drew self-portraits and wrote self-descriptions. In all three countries more than 75% of the self-portraits depicted sporting activities or sports clothing. Boys described themselves in terms of individual personality characteristics. Most of the boys came from high income backgrounds which may have given them an individualistic perspective and may have provided them with free time for sports and the ability to purchase sports gear.
Thomas Suddendorf (U of Auckland) IMAGINARY OBJECT PANTOMINE AND THEORY OF MIND, Thursday, 1pm
Pantomime is one form of pretence that might be linked to the increased representational skills associated with acquiring a theory of mind (ToM). Over the preschool years pantomime, or gestural representation, progresses from object substitution by body parts (BPO) to imaginary object gestures without environmental support (IO). The present study tested forty-four children between age three and four, and an association between IO pantomime and ToM measured by false-belief and appearance-reality tasks was observed. Those children who passed the ToM tasks produced significantly more IO pantomimes than those who did not. The association continued to be significant even when age was partialed out. Modelling IO pantomimes to the children did not increase the use of IO over BPO pantomimes. The results therefore suggest that a genuine deficit in representational capacity, rather than preference, is responsible for the lack of IO pantomime in younger children.
Brian Sutton-Smith (U of Pennsylvania, emeritus), Animal Play Panel, Thursday, 8:30am
Brian Sutton-Smith (U of Pennsylvania, emeritus) THE AMBIGUITY OF PLAY (1998), TASP Invited Authors Symposium, Saturday 8:30am
Brian Sutton-Smith (U of Pennsylvania, emeritus) THE CULTURE OF TOYS, Saturday 10:30am
In July of the year 2000, the Smithsonian plans to bring child toy makers from all over the world to display and play with their invented play objects on the DC Folk Mall. In January of 1998 a conference was held at Emory to discuss the pros and cons of this venture. Present were historians McClary and Cross, Psychologists and anthropologists, Goldstein, Lancy, Pope, Rossie and Greenfield, and folklorists Seriff and Kirshenblaatt-Gimblett. Issues of ancient versus modern toys and cross-cultural forms of toy play were discussed and will be reported on.
Marjorie Taylor (U of Oregon) and Lynn E. Gerow (U of Oregon) A LONGITUDINAL STUDY OF FANTASY AND THEORY OF MIND,
E. Herbert Thompson & Diane Thompson (Emory & Henry College), and Dorothy Sluss (East Tennessee State U) A CONVERSATION ABOUT PLAY: OUR BEST-KEPT SECRET, Friday, 10am
Research about play is the central focus of our members' lives. We do it; we talk about it, and discuss how we go about it among ourselves. We are all very knowledgeable about each others' research agendas. But all of this knowledge is essentially unknown outside of our group. We contend that there are significant changes in society that can be traced to changes in the ways humans play, and believe it is time that we talk to a larger audience who desperately needs to know. This symposium will engage in a dialogue/discussion (with audience participation encouraged) about what the larger society needs to know about play. Topics will include but not be limited to changes in play patterns from dirt to inside play, the number of players, the artifacts of play, and the societal structure of play. We will discuss not only what the public needs to know but also how we can make them more aware.
Oracha Tulanda and Jaipaul L. Roopnarine (Syracuse U) Mother-child and father-child interactions in thai families: links to children's social skills, Thursday, 1pm
Mother-child and father-child interactions with preschool-aged children were observed in the homes of 53 families residing in Chaing Mai Province in Northern Thailand. Teachers provided assessments of children's general social skills in preschool. Gender-of-Parent differences were evident in a range of caregiving, social, and academic activities but not play. There were significant associations between select parent-child interaction variables and children's social skills in preschool for girls but not boys. Data are discussed in terms of the differential roles of mothers and fathers.
Derek Van Rheenen (U of California, Berkeley) A HISTORIC-GEOGRAPHIC ANALYSIS OF HOPSCOTCH, Friday, 1pm
This paper presents selected findings from a comparative study of hopscotch, a historic-geographic analysis of an age -old game. In collecting over two thousand versions of this traditional game, this study highlights both local and historical variation. These findings demonstrate that children negotiate an enormous range of possibility within the physical and social space of the hopscotch diagram. This is reflected not only in the tremendous variety of hopscotch form and ways of playing the game worldwide, but also in the polysemic cultural meanings produced daily within this dynamic social practice. Particular attention will be placed on the social construction of gender within the divided terrain of this traditional game.
Robert A. Veneziano (Saint Joseph College, CT) INFLUENCE OF PARTERNAL WARMTH AND INVOLVEMENT ON YOUTH'S BEHAVIOR: HOLOCULTURAL EVIDENCE, Saturday, 8:30am
This holocultural research investigates the relationship between paternal acceptance-rejection and the role of the father (i.e., proximity), and their individual and joint effects on 1) traits inculcated in childhood (i.e., toughness, maturity, dutifulness, submission, and sociability, and 2) the frequency of personal and property crime.
Peggy O'Neill-Wagner (NICHHD) NEW WAYS TO PLAY FOR PHYSICALLY "DISABLED" AND SOCIALLY DEBILITATED MONKEYS Thursday, 8:30am
A long-term lifestyle prognosis for motherless rhesus monkeys reared for their first year in a laboratory setting on cloth-covered surrogates is limited. A lifestyle prognosis for a juvenile male rhesus monkey, following an injury which resulted in the complete amputation of two limbs, was reported to be so seriously reduced that surgeons recommended euthanasia. Because the laboratory setting was not ideal for developing creative environments where play therapies could be tested, eight socially and one physically disabled naturalistic environment the young monkeys aged from 2-3 years were introduced to a naturalistic environment in a community of domestic animals of puppies, dogs, cats, sheep, and horses, trees to climb and a pond to explore. The playful interactions between young motherless monkeys and other animals were very likely to be instrumental in making up for a lack of normative developmental experience. The ability of the young monkey with two limbs to adjust to his surroundings and modify his movement to climb, play in the trees, and rough-and-rumble play with other animals, was extraordinary. Playful interactions throughout the study will be described and long-term outcomes will be discussed.
Robert C. Weigl (Georgetown U) Intercultural tactics for the study of culture, Friday, 1pm
Working with data from two and a half years in the field, the author illustrates the heuristic power of cultural interfaces as a means for sounding out bedrock cultural characteristics. A social action project designed largely by Anglos for Latino immigrants, in order to include new arrivals in political power, evolved-interactively, often unintentionally, and sometimes comically-as an intricate dance of mutual self-definition and boundary marking. Using material in project archives, the author describes critical cultural features of hosts and newcomers that emerged in bold relief during the research project. Beyond these specific learnings, the paper considers why and how interactive studies demonstrate effectiveness in revealing culture and its psychology, which is hard to duplicate in research with a single cultural focus. Also considered are some of the risks of interactive cultural studies and the possibility that negative findings and non-events may be critical sources of learning,
Robert C. Weigl (Georgetown U), Morality Across Cultures Symposium, Friday, 8:30am
Joan Weston (U of California, Santa Barbara) PLAYING WITH POWER, Friday, 10am
This paper concerns the cultural negotiation of masculinity, the movement across, along, and over the culturally specific and historically bound social terrain of the taken-for-granted, mundane social world. More specifically, I mean the local, interactional, and practical operations adults and children perform in their attempt to arrive at an understanding of just what constitutes masculinity. In this research I examine the way men and boys organize "work" and "play" in ways that effectively excludes the females in their presence. I provide a conversation analytic reading of a video recording of a graduate seminar at a state university and of a meeting of the Superhero Fan Club, an after-school social club in which fourth-grade boys meet at an elementary school to draw and discuss comic book superheroes. I discuss the means by which both groups organize their "work" and "play" such that they exclude the only female in their presence.
Jill Collins White (U of Kentucky) BECOMING ADULT IN MONTERREY: LEVELS OF MEANING IN A SECONDARY SCHOOL GRADUATION CEREMONY, Thursday, 1pm
This paper offers an interpretive analysis of a graduation ceremony observed in Monterrey, Mexico in July 1997. The ceremony had several layers of meaning, differentially experienced by teachers, parents, and the graduates themselves. With reference to Foucault's analysis of how values held by the state are embodied in citizens and Bourdieu's rites of institution, this paper will address the meanings expressed, constructed and contested by the various participants in the graduation ceremony.
Lisa Woodside (Holy Family College) HUMAN PSYCHOLOGY AT HOME IN THE NATURAL WORLD, Sunday, 9am
Ecological psychology is an expansive and emerging field which draws on the research of clinical cases and health studies, wilderness experience, ancient wisdom traditions, and compassionate environmental activism. It has components which are transcultural and global by definition. In its study of human psychological dimensions in relationship to the natural world, ecological psychology assumes an innately emotional affiliation of human beings with nature. Hence, violence done to the natural world is violence done to ourselves; while reconnection to nature and reciprocal relationship brings about healing. Ecological psychology emphasizes interconnectedness and that our inner and outer worlds mirror each other. This research examined gender differences in depressive symptoms, the number of past traumatic events, and level of symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among 349 Vietnamese refugees in the United States. Men scored significantly higher on both traumatic events and PTSD. Controlling for the number of past traumatic experiences and concurrent PTSD symptoms, significant gender differences in depression were found, with women more depressed than men. While both female and male Vietnamese refugees have been subjected to a host of horrific life events and consequent high levels of depression, gender still emerged as a factor predicting severity of depressive symptoms.
Eric Worch (Indiana U) DIETARY CONSTRAINTS ON THE PLAY BEHAVIOR OF MONKEYS Thursday, 8:30am
The objective of this study is to describe and compare the ontogeny and ecological contexts of play in frugivorous and folivorous monkeys in order to test the hypothesis that frugivory leads to greater and more vigorous play. Two troops of red colobus monkeys, Procolobus pennantii, and two troops of red-tailed guenons, Cercopithecus ascanius, were studied at Kibale Forest, Uganda from November 1995 through October 1996. The red colobus diet consists primarily of young leaves, whereas redtails feed mainly on fruit and insects. The hypothesis that frugivores are more playful than folivores was not supported. Red colobus were more playful than redtails throughout the study. Preliminary analysis suggests that the difference in the amount of play between species was determined by foraging strategies related to food choice rather than food abundance. A complete analysis of the ecological data and a cross-specific comparison of play ontogeny will be presented.
Susan Young & Robyn M. Holmes (Monmouth U) HOME LITERACY BEHAVIORS, PLAYFULNESS AND LANGUAGE ABILITIES IN PRESCHOOLERS, Friday, 8:30am
The varying types of literacy activities that take place in the home can have a profound effect on literacy acquisition, playfulness, and language development in preschoolers. This paper describes a study that investigated the relationship of these variables using a home literacy survey and a scale measuring playfulness that were administered to the parents or guardians of urban preschoolers. In addition, tests of receptive and expressive language were individually administered to the preschoolers to ascertain their language abilities. Preliminary analysis suggests that the amount of reading and writing done in the home environment, as well as the variety of literacy materials available, are linked to children's playfulness and language abilities. These test results were also supported by the children's narratives observed during symbolic play in classroom Literacy Play Centers.
Susan Young (Monmouth U) and Lynn Romeo (Mommouth U) PROMOTING LITERACY IN PLAY CENTERS: THE IMPORTANCE OF ADULT FACILITATION, Friday 2:30pm
The active engagement of preschoolers by adults that takes place within a play setting that has been enriched with literacy artifacts can have a marked effect on the types of literacy behaviors that are exhibited by the youngsters. This paper describes a study that focusedon the importance of adult facilitation during free play periods in Literacy Play Centers. Two preschool classrooms were enriched with an animal hospital, a grocery store, and a travel agency. The other classroom housed a cafe, bank, and a post office. The preschoolers in one classroom were actively engaged in literacy behaviors by facilitating adult, while the preschoolers in the other class played freely without any adult facilitation while in the centers. The number of attempts at reading, writing, and/or numeration by the preschoolers while in the centers were tallied for each visit. Preliminary results indicate that students who were playfully engaged by adults were active in making attempts at reading, writing, and/or numeration than the students who were not prompted by adults.