Symbiotic homeostatic disequilibrium in playworking interaction

A new paper by Joel Seath and Gordon Sturrock, derived from and following communications at the PlayEd conference in Cambridge, May 2018.


Playwork’s key claim is its unique manner of working for and with children. It currently suffers, however, from a lack of consensus regarding the benefits of its application. This paper challenges the dilution of playwork practice in acknowledging the art, grace and wisdom in connectivity of playworking. Drawing primarily on Antonio Damasio’s neurobiological analysis, the homeostatic disequilibrium operation at the core of body/neural intra-action is detected as reflected in the interaction of organisms.

In consideration of some key concepts of social ecology – consociation, mutual aid, co-operativity rather than competition, rhizomatic rather than hierarchical structures – and  the neurobiological study of individuals’ feelings, emotive responses, affect and culture, this paper discusses the evolving phenomenon of the playworking adult and child at play in terms of a symbiotic being and becoming.

Joel Seath and Gordon Sturrock

Download the full paper here

Image: ‘Rhizomatic tree of life’ by jef Safi




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