Play performance and affect in a Mexican telenovela

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3 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter focuses on the unity of thought and affect in play as suggested by Vygotsky and the cultural-historical approach. A theoretical analysis of this Vygotskian idea is carried out in relation to play performances in the everyday life of Mayra, a 5-year-old girl, who lives in a rural community in the north of Mexico. The empirical material consists of ethnographic video recordings of her play performance enacting, singing and dancing like the heroine of her favourite TV show “Telenovela”. The concept of affective intentions theorized in this chapter shows how children express emotions through repertoires of non-verbal language, gestures and movements. Affect captured visually in a play performance example allows for demonstrating momentitos in time where Mayra’s affective intentions and interests are present. Further, Mayra’s affective intentions are discussed in relation to how she collectively and individually imagines her everyday world and how her identity changes when moving between institutions such as family and kindergarten. Play in this cultural community involves the telenovela, which in turn contains intense affects and emotions for the players such as Mayra. This play performance is valued in the community and becomes important to Mayra’s identity formation and belonging to the rural community.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChildren's Play and Development: Cultural-Historical Perspectives
EditorsIvy Schousboe, Ditte Winther-Lindqvist
Place of PublicationDordrecht The Netherlands
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9789400765795
ISBN (Print)9789400765788
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013

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