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The Possible Futures for Playwork project: a thematic analysis

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In 2008 a project funded by Play England asked the playwork field for their ideas on the 'possible futures' of playwork. The response included 23 'ideas papers' which were originally intended to form part of the discussion on the future of playwork at a large-scale café style action event. Seven years on, this paper revisits these ideas papers by undertaking a thematic analysis on each paper to identify the main themes at that time. This analysis identified five main themes: uniqueness of playwork; professionalism of playwork; community-based aspects of playwork; relationship of playwork to the 'wider world' and threats to playwork. These themes are discussed in relation to the contextual factors that influenced playwork in 2008 and concludes with some provocations for the playwork field to consider for the future of playwork.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 01 November 2015

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Playwork Practice aims to advance playwork research and practice by providing the first ever interdisciplinary platform for the publication and dissemination of scholarship relevant to playwork practice. The Journal of Playwork Practice bridges the playwork theory-practice divide by facilitating practitioner access to research relevant to their practice, and enables researchers interested in 'playwork' to access a hitherto inaccessible field of practice and its literature.

    The Journal of Playwork Practice was published by Policy Press from 2014 to 2017, and will return with its new publisher as the International Journal of Playwork Practice in 2019. Further information is available at:

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