The Play of Girls

  • Brian Sutton-Smith
Part of the Women in Context: Development and Stresses book series (WICO, volume 2)


This paper outlines the character of girls’ play as it proceeds from infancy to adolescence. It shows that although there has been considerable historical change in girls’ play and games, there has also been considerable persistence f older stereotypical forms. The position is taken that w atever the causes of these changes and these persistences, and whatever their outcome, there is merit in attempting to understand more fully their present, if passing, nature. The whole of this chapter, therefore, is an exercise in what we have called elsewhere the typological error, which says that females must always be stereotypically feminine and males must always be stereotypically masculine (Rosenberg and Sutton-Smith, 1972). Clearly this need not be so and much of the time is not so. However, when one deals with “girls at play,” it is almost impossible to escape the cultural burden of this prepotent dichotomy.


Social Play 2New York Time Black Magic Musical Chair American Folklore 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian Sutton-Smith
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate School of EducationUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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