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The Handbook of the Study of Play

The Handbook of the Study of Play brings together in two volumes thinkers whose diverse interests at the vanguard of scholarship and practice define the present field. Because play is an activity that humans have shared across time, place, and culture and in their personal developmental timelines—and because this behavior stretches deep into the evolutionary past—no single discipline can lay claim to exclusive rights to check the topic. Thus this handbook features the thinking of evolutionary psychologists; ethologists and biologists; neuroscientists; developmental psychologists; psychotherapists and play therapists; historians; sociologists and anthropologists; cultural psychologists; philosophers; theorists of music, performance, and dance; specialists in learning and language acquisition; and playground designers.

Together, but out in their varied understandings, the incisive contributions to The Handbook take on necessary questions of educational policy, of literacy, of fitness, of the role of play in brain development, of spontaneity and pleasure, of well-being and happiness, of fairness, and of the fuller realization of the self. These volumes also comprise an intellectual history, retrospective looks on the great thinkers who have made imaginable the brand new study of play.

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