Parks and Recreation

APA Studies in Feminism and Philosophy 22 (1):3-7 (2022)
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In this contribution to the symposium on Quill Kukla's _City Living_, I argue that the "objective properties" invisibly built into playgrounds can limit children's development of their agency. Playgrounds may seem insignificant because play may seem insignificant. However, playgrounds are where children develop as agents: it is through play that they learn to make decisions about their own bodies, express their own values, and negotiate with others. Yet at the playground, there is co-dependence between social practice and material object: the latent surveillance by adults enforces and reinforces the rules that have been built into equipment like slides. Social and spatial inequalities can constitute self-amplifying feedback loops that sustain oppressive systems. Playgrounds do not merely reflect the social fact that children’s autonomy is not always taken seriously, they also condition and constitute this social fact.



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Shen-yi Liao
University of Puget Sound

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Games: Agency as Art.C. Thi Nguyen - 2020 - New York: Oxford University Press.
The right way to play a game.C. Thi Nguyen - 2019 - Game Studies 19 (1).

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