Bad Doll!

Watching how children play with dolls seems to be a technique much used by developmental psychologists. I believe this approach started with Anna Freud and her opponent Karen Horney, but I humbly beg pardon for having no knowledge of the current state of academic play. It would seem safe to say, however, that the common lay perception is that girls who play with dolls are practising for their own motherhood, while other play, including that of boys, is practice for occupation roles and social leadership.

To me this does not seem to cover all the bases. I wonder whether children’s play could also be seen as an expression of one’s perceived place in the world, which does not have to be good news. Anyone who has watched a little girl speaking severely to her doll and even thumping it may understand that the doll represents “Me being fucked around”. Just how such reenactment helps, and to what extent the profession perceives it correctly or no, I have no idea.

Posted on April 1, 2010 at 16:14 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink

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