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The people in the playground

Author: Iona Archibald Opie
Publisher: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1993.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
For nearly forty years Iona Opie worked with her late husband Peter on a notable series of books on the traditional lore of childhood. As part of the fieldwork from 1970 onwards, she visited the local school playground every week. The children accepted Mrs Opie as a regular feature of the playground, a harmless collector of jokes and games. Her aim, however, was to provide the living context of school-lore, rather  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Folklore
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Opie, Iona Archibald.
People in the playground.
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1993
(OCoLC)607908597
Online version:
Opie, Iona Archibald.
People in the playground.
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1993
(OCoLC)623574708
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Iona Archibald Opie
ISBN: 0198112653 9780198112655
OCLC Number: 25713943
Description: ix, 240 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
Responsibility: Iona Opie.
More information:

Abstract:

For nearly forty years Iona Opie worked with her late husband Peter on a notable series of books on the traditional lore of childhood. As part of the fieldwork from 1970 onwards, she visited the local school playground every week. The children accepted Mrs Opie as a regular feature of the playground, a harmless collector of jokes and games. Her aim, however, was to provide the living context of school-lore, rather than the lore itself. She achieved this by writing down events exactly as they happened, and conversations exactly as they were spoken. The result is a startlingly honest portrait of children at play, at once charming and hilarious, alarming and poignant, and full of infectious vitality. We see the games seasons as they come and go, watch ephemeral amusements being devised and forgotten, and see how school-lore evolves and is transmitted. Much fundamental human behaviour is recorded: the differences in attitudes between the sexes; the boys' irrevocable devotion to fighting and football, and their innate kindness; the art of story-telling; the friendships and enmities; the excited interest in sex; the diversity of characters; and, above all, the hilarity which pervades the playground, creating entertainment out of trivialities. In the uninhibited language and astonishing inventiveness chronicled in these pages we recognize the games and jokes of previous generations; at once a revelation and a reassurance of continuity, this book offers a unique insight into the world of the child.

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