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By Diana Kelly-Byrne

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Extra info for A Childs Play Life: An Ethnographic Study (Early Childhood Education, No 20)

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And here the cultivation of their imagination is central. That children are attached, toilet trained, sexually modest, relatively nonaggressive, and sex-typically flexible gains us no future. It gives us only obedient and docile citizens. The changing future in a world of galloping informa- Page xv tion, incredible diplomatic problems, and a series of populations to be contained not by force but by the imaginative scenarios and opportunities will be provided by those of imaginative and novelistic leadership.

It was an amazing idea even if a remarkably simple one. One immediately asked: Why hadn't anyone done this before? What is it about childhood that has militated against such a research approach? Jean Jacques Rousseau, who is generally accepted as the precursor of all modern child study with his notion that the child is both driven by consuming impulses as well as perfectible if we educate him correctly, would certainly not have had anything to do with such a notion. He saw himself as the first to really take a research interest in the young and wrote in 1778: I knew that there never was a man who loved more to watch little children joking and playing together than I, and often I stopped in the street and on walks to watch their cuteness and their little games with an interest I never saw shared by anyone.

Bloomington: Indian University Press. (Original work published in 1954) Foucault, M. (1965). Madness and civilization. New York: Random House. (Original work published in 1961) Geertz, C. (1988). Works and lives. Stanford: Stanford University Press. Hartman, G. H. (1987). The unremarkable Wordsworth. Minneapolis. The University of Minnesota. Kelly-Byrne, D. (1984). Continuity and discontinuity in play: The adult-child connection. In B. Sutton-Smith & D. ), The masks of play. New York: Leisure Press.

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