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Publication details for Dr Christopher Harker

Harker, C. (2005). Playing and Affective Time-Spaces. Children's Geographies 3(1): 47-62.

Author(s) from Durham


In this paper I have two objectives. The first is to critically explore definitions of playing that have underpinned a great deal of research in children's geography. In so doing I want to highlight some of the assumptions that various authors within geography have made (often implicitly) about the ontological status of playing. This will in turn, lead me to work with, between and sometimes against three authors who have tried to theorize playing. In following this route, I hope to come to some tentative conclusions about the status of playing, which paradoxically will eschew any (strong) ontological commitment at all. This leads to my second objective, which is to explore four particular aspects of playing—embodiment, affect, objects and time-space—to examine how they are interleaved with spaces and spacing. In necessarily situating this work within my research at Hilltop Primary School1 in the summer of 2001, I hope to show that geographical studies can contribute to definitions of playing as much as playing can inflect certain notions of space.