Chapter

The Value of a Play-Filled Childhood in Development of the Hunter-Gatherer Individual

Peter Gray

in Evolution, Early Experience and Human Development

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199755059
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979479 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199755059.003.0022
The Value of a Play-Filled Childhood in Development of the Hunter-Gatherer Individual

Show Summary Details

Preview

Children in band hunter-gatherer cultures, wherever they have been studied, were free to play on their own, essentially from dawn to dusk, every day. This chapter describes the cultural context for such play—which included free age mixing among children and adolescents and direct exposure to essentially all adult activities—and explains how, through free play, children acquired the cultural skills, social values, and personal character traits essential to adult success. In particular, the article explains how play, by its very nature, promotes cooperation, egalitarianism, democratic decision making, personal autonomy, and self-control—all of which were key hunter-gatherer values.

Keywords: children's play; hunter-gatherers; social development; education

Chapter.  9425 words. 

Subjects: Developmental Psychology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.