This chapter offers an assessment of the studies that suggests that many are premised on a "deficit hypothesis" similar to that outlined by M. Cole and J. Bruner and W. Labov in their critiques of deficit interpretations of the language and culture of certain ethnic and social class groups in the United States. It examines the relationships between children's imaginative play and culture and social class variables have appeared. The anthropological literature has also been used to support the view that children from certain traditional cultures may be deficient in imaginative play abilities. The chapter discusses ethnographic literature n order to question some of the assumptions that are currently being made about non-Western children's play. It examines a related series of assumptions about imaginative play. M. Mead reports that Manus children spend most of their time in energetic rough-and-tumble play activities, and very little time is spent in imaginative play behavior.
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