Soperezhivani: Dramatic events in fairy tales and play

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    The concept of perezhivanie has gained theoretical attention and is beginning to feature in empirical studies of young children, where the role of emotion is foregrounded (e.g., Ferholt, 2010). However, the idea of a collective perezhivanie of adults and children in early childhood settings has not yet been researched. In the context of collective emotional imagination (Fleer & Hammer, 2013; Fleer & Peers, 2012), this paper foregrounds the key relations between audience and players, and between real relations and role relations. It extends a line of work developed by Zaporozhets (1986, 1986/2002, 1994/2005) and furthered by Strel’kova (1986) and El’koninova (2001, 2002) on a related concept known in Russian as soperezhivanie. Through a study of 25 children, three educators, and the first named author, participating in a fairy tale festival in a multi-age children’s care setting in Australia (60 hours of video observations) the concept of soperezhivanie is drawn upon to make sense of the experiences of the participants. It was found that moments of collective perezhivanie were co-experienced by children and teachers when teachers took a role in the play and the group united around a key moment of emotional contradiction in the fairy tale. This research provides insights into ways in which early childhood educators can plan for children’s emotional development in collective whole group contexts. The outcomes make a contribution to the unfinished work of Vygotsky on the concept of perezhivanie.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)68-84
    Number of pages17
    JournalInternational Research in Early Childhood Education
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


    • Perezhivanie
    • Soperezhivanie
    • Emotions
    • Imagination
    • Double-subjectivity
    • Fairy tales
    • Cultural-historical theory
    • Play

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