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Perf02b


Making and breaking the bonds of play and ritual II 
Convenors:
Audun Kjus (Norsk Folkemuseum (The Norwegian Museum of Cultural History))
Ida Tolgensbakk (Oslo Metropolitan University)
Susanne Österlund-Pötzsch (Society of Swedish Literature in Finland)
Jakob Löfgren (Lund University)
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Stream:
Performativity
Format:
Panel
Sessions:
Tuesday 22 June, 16:15-18:00 (UTC+3)

Short Abstract:

How are the inner spaces of play and ritual created, regulated and challenged? How do we, as researchers, go about to investigate such boundary-work? The panel particularly welcomes studies of rule breaking, development of new forms, and exploits from the fuzzy middle ground between play and ritual.

Long Abstract

How do children make room - physically and mentally - for a game of tags on a busy city sidewalk? How does the Hindu guru create a holy ground out of a rented office space? Are there differences between ritualistic play and playful ritual? In short: how is play and ritual regulated and how do we, as researchers, go about to investigate such boundary-work?

Johan Huizinga (1938) suggested that the acts of both play and ritual depend on establishing certain boundaries, creating manageable inner spaces, within which various kinds of micro-worlds can be furnished. Don Handelman (1980) interpreted this in terms of Gregory Bateson's theory of meta-communicatively framed behaviour and he suggested that the frames of play signal the suggestion "let us pretend" while the frames of ritual signal the suggestion "let us believe". Since phenomena such as play and ritual are constructs that make order and the logics of how they are put together are crucial to what their designs enable them to accomplish (Handelman 1990), empirical studies of the boundary-work involved in establishing, maintaining and rearranging both playgrounds and ritual grounds are called for.

The panel is particularly interested in papers that explore cases of rule breaking, the development of new forms, and exploits from the fuzzy middle ground between play and ritual.

Accepted papers: