‘Working the play: how a card game negotiates perceptions of work and productivity’

Pisac, Andrea. 2013. ‘Working the play: how a card game negotiates perceptions of work and productivity’. Narodna umjetnost: Croatian Journal of Ethnology and Folklore Research, 50(1), pp. 182-201. ISSN 0547-2504 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

based on the ethnographic study of the card game Bela, this paper rethinks the intersections and interstices between game and non-game contexts, challenging the presumption that play is unproductive and non-materialistic. By embedding the rules of the game into its socio-cultural context, the paper identifies a symbolic space of shared stories, emotions and personal interests that coexist with, modify and lubricate the rules of the game. By considering play as a way of engaging the world, rather than a categorically identified, bounded and thus inconsequential activity, I explore how the open-endedness of the card game relates to broader life experiences, and particularly how it shapes and influences perceptions of work and productivity.

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play; work; productivity; contingency; playfulness as disposition

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July 2013Published

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Date Deposited:

23 Jun 2015 13:38

Last Modified:

23 Jun 2015 13:38

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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