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Permanent link (DOI): https://doi.org/10.7939/R32888

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Exploring the cultural construction of children's play in Thailand: an action research study with the Foundation for Child Development Open Access

Descriptions

Other title
Subject/Keyword
play
action research
participation
child development
Thailand
culture
Type of item
Thesis
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Truong, Son
Supervisor and department
Mahon, Michael (Office of the President, University of Lethbridge)
Examining committee member and department
McHugh, Tara-Leigh (Physical Education and Recreation)
Spencer-Cavaliere, Nancy (Acting Supervisor, Physical Education and Recreation)
Mahon, Michael (Office of the President, University of Lethbridge)
Frisby, Wendy (School of Human Kinetics, University of British Columbia)
Kirova, Anna (Elementary Education)
Department
Physical Education and Recreation
Specialization

Date accepted
2012-05-31T10:18:31Z
Graduation date
2011-11
Degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Doctoral
Abstract
Children’s play has emerged as a global discourse (Fleer, 2009). Studies from diverse theoretical traditions have examined the role of play in child development; however, the dominant discourse of play has largely privileged Western European-heritage cultural practices, and as a result childhood and play have become decontextualized (Kirova, 2010; Steinberg & Kincheloe, 2004). While there is increasing acceptance that play is universal (Frost, Wortham, & Reifel, 2008), it must also be recognized that there is still relatively little that is known about children’s play in non-Western and developing contexts (Göncü, Jain, & Tuermer, 2007). Therefore, this action research study contributes to the growing body of literature in the field of play and cultural studies by exploring Thai views of children’s play. The study was conducted with a Thai nongovernmental organization called the Foundation for Child Development (FCD), and was carried out at one of their play centres in an urban low-income congested community. The purpose was to generate new and deeper thinking about play in order to collaboratively (re)construct practices aimed at enhancing children’s play opportunities at FCD. Data collection took place from November 2009 – 2010 and included volunteer work and participant observation at the children’s play centre. Interviews and focus groups were conducted with FCD staff members and community members. Additionally, a participatory photography research project was conducted with a group of children at the centre. The study was guided by a cultural-ecological conceptual framework. The findings suggest that play is a culturally structured activity that must be situated contextually. A sociocultural-historical perspective reveals that trends of urbanization and modernization are rapidly changing the landscape of childhood; therefore, it is important to consider the interaction between the global and local elements that are shaping children’s play within the contemporary Thai context. The study also calls attention to the importance of having access to play spaces, as they may become meaningful places for children to play and develop. Actions resulting from this study included increasing children’s participation in the planning of their play space and a children’s photo exhibition to raise awareness of the child’s right to play.
Language
English
DOI
doi:10.7939/R32888
Rights
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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