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Title: Play, risk and children's sociality in urban Vancouver
Author: Loebenberg, Abby
ISNI:       0000 0003 5866 1074
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis demonstrates how children challenge the boundaries adults place on them, out of concern for their safety, through child-specific cultural practises. The thesis argues that these boundaries emerge from contemporary changes in the perception of risk to children and have driven the systematic limitation of spaces that children are allowed to experience on their own. Based on data collected among elementary school-age children during twelve months of fieldwork (2008-2009), across multiple sites in the city of Vancouver, Canada, I argue that children creatively adapt to spatial and social limits imposed on them through play, consumption and exchange. Moreover, the research demonstrates that through gathering social knowledge and experimenting with self-presentation and systems of social order, children create a sophisticated peer culture. This incorporates social differentiations and hierarchies that differ from those of adult society however, are interdependent with it. My work thus challenges the position of children as objects and ‘anecdotes’ in anthropology: considered ‘works in progress’ and lacking full status as persons in society. Rather, I argue that they should be treated as competent social actors in their own right with their own social meanings and cultural practises.
Supervisor: Daniels, Inge Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Anthropology ; Visual and material anthropology ; Children and youth ; Urban Studies ; play ; risk ; childhood ; friendship ; toys ; games