ABSTRACT

Bringing together authors from a range of academic disciplines and research backgrounds – united as standard-bearers for the child’s right to play – and set against a backdrop evoking play’s critical essence, this book documents the rise and fall of an explosive period of political interest in play in the UK.

Has the withdrawal of so much state funding damaged the playwork profession forever? Has the battle for recognition of the significance of play in child development been lost? Why is children’s happiness always so low on the agendas of our politicians? The invaluable contributions in this book identify the lessons learned, and the opportunities that may be available to those determined to maintain the struggle for a greater recognition of the importance of children’s play in an era defined by the oppressive politics of austerity. This book was originally published as a special issue of the International Journal of Play.

chapter |2 pages

Editorial

ByFraser Brown, Mike Wragg

chapter |7 pages

The state of playwork

ByAdrian Voce

chapter |4 pages

Memories of and reflections on play

ByTracy R. Gleason

entry

Seminar Papers: Best of times to worst of times? Appraising the changing landscape of play in the UK

chapter |8 pages

Introduction: Complex geographies of play provision dis/investment across the UK

ByJohn H. McKendrick, Peter Kraftl, Sarah Mills, Stefanie Gregorius, Grace Sykes

chapter |5 pages

Austerity as opportunity: Opportunities for free play

ByRob Wheway

chapter |8 pages

Conclusion: Geographies for play in austere times

ByJohn H. McKendrick, Peter Kraftl, Sarah Mills, Stefanie Gregorius, Grace Sykes