Self and pretence: Playing with identity

Journal of Social Philosophy 39 (4):564-582 (2008)
This paper considers the importance of play as a conventional space for hypothetical self-expression and self-trial, its importance for determination of identity, and for development of self-possibilities. Expanding such possibilities in play enables challenging of socially entrenched assumptions concerning possible and appropriate identities. Discussion is extended to the contexts of gender performance (drag) and sport-play. It is argued that play proceeds on the basis of a fundamental pretence of reality that must be taken seriously by its participants; this discussion includes considerations of serious and ironical play, “playing-at”, and travesty.
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DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9833.2008.00443.x
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