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Playfights as trouble and respite

Wästerfors, David LU (2014) In Journal of Contemporary Ethnography
Abstract
Playfulness is easily overlooked in studies of total institutions because it does not match what we expect from institutional order. By studying playfulness ethnographically, social life in today’s institutions can be depicted both more naturalistically and more unexpectedly. This article explores how members of Swedish youth care institutions enact and respond to playful disputes or aggression in ways that make physical contact accountable and soften or transform controversial masculinity shows. Staff tries to down-key playfight invitations to “treatment” or “learning,” but playfighting also offers youth and staff identificatory respite from the institutional regime. Playfighting is a recurrent pattern in the social life of a youth care... (More)
Playfulness is easily overlooked in studies of total institutions because it does not match what we expect from institutional order. By studying playfulness ethnographically, social life in today’s institutions can be depicted both more naturalistically and more unexpectedly. This article explores how members of Swedish youth care institutions enact and respond to playful disputes or aggression in ways that make physical contact accountable and soften or transform controversial masculinity shows. Staff tries to down-key playfight invitations to “treatment” or “learning,” but playfighting also offers youth and staff identificatory respite from the institutional regime. Playfighting is a recurrent pattern in the social life of a youth care institution and sits at the core of what inmates and staff have to deal with. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
total institution, frame analysis, play, play fight, doing gender, Sociology
in
Journal of Contemporary Ethnography
publisher
SAGE Publications Inc.
external identifiers
  • scopus:84960341255
ISSN
0891-2416
DOI
10.1177/0891241614554087
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
ef3bdafd-1ed0-4222-975d-5cd99c1390ad (old id 5050050)
alternative location
http://jce.sagepub.com/content/early/2014/10/21/0891241614554087.abstracttitle=
date added to LUP
2015-02-16 14:46:51
date last changed
2017-01-01 03:11:09
@article{ef3bdafd-1ed0-4222-975d-5cd99c1390ad,
  abstract     = {Playfulness is easily overlooked in studies of total institutions because it does not match what we expect from institutional order. By studying playfulness ethnographically, social life in today’s institutions can be depicted both more naturalistically and more unexpectedly. This article explores how members of Swedish youth care institutions enact and respond to playful disputes or aggression in ways that make physical contact accountable and soften or transform controversial masculinity shows. Staff tries to down-key playfight invitations to “treatment” or “learning,” but playfighting also offers youth and staff identificatory respite from the institutional regime. Playfighting is a recurrent pattern in the social life of a youth care institution and sits at the core of what inmates and staff have to deal with.},
  author       = {Wästerfors, David},
  issn         = {0891-2416},
  keyword      = {total institution,frame analysis,play,play fight,doing gender,Sociology},
  language     = {eng},
  publisher    = {SAGE Publications Inc.},
  series       = {Journal of Contemporary Ethnography},
  title        = {Playfights as trouble and respite},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0891241614554087},
  year         = {2014},
}