Publication details [#6685]

Kjolsrod, L. 2003. Adventure revisited: On structure and metaphor in specialized play. 18 pp.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language


Contemporary society offers a large repertoire of 'adventures', culturally adapted to the maturity, gender and class of those who participate. The 'captivating', yet challenging demands of, say, collecting objects, backpacking, or mountaineering, guide actors to turn their adventures into personal frames or proto-boundaries through which ideas of 'self' evolve. Of the many possible selves a person may relate to, only a few are actually enacted upon and even fewer are embraced. An identity moulded in play is distinctive in the sense that it is also a chosen identity, easily incorporated into self-supporting narratives. By studying how men and women carve metaphors out of their leisure, sociology may acquire a better understanding of how contradictions within the 'subject-self' are actually recognized and chronicled. This type of adult play sheds light not only on processes of identity and individuation but also on issues of individual and social integration, and organization. This paper describes 3 aspects of learning how to play that can also be thought of as stages in leisure careers: getting to know the basics; discovering how actions and objects contain multiple social meanings; and growing an advanced preference for the strain and gratification involved. (CABI Publishing)