Street play as occupation for pre-teens in Belhar, South Africa

Amanda Brackmann, Elelwani Ramugondo, Adrienne Daniels, Fezeka Galeni, Michael Awood, Tessa Hosking


Street play is often overlooked as an important activity for young people and can have negative connotations associated with it. There is currently no documented research which describes the meaning children and young people ascribe to street play. What people do everyday - which may promote meaning, health and well-being - is regarded as occupation within occupational science and occupational therapy. This paper explores the experiences of pre-teens who engage in street play within the context of Belhar, South Africa. It

reports on a study conducted to gain insight into street play from the perspectives of this group of young people, with the purpose of informing occupation-focussed occupational therapy with this population in contexts similar to Belhar. The findings of the study support

an occupational justice approach to occupational therapy, which requires interdisciplinary research and practice, in order to inform policies such as the Open Streets initiatives that should promote children and young people’s meaningful participation in society. They

also challenge the traditional treatment modalities and recommend further research and discussion into rhetoric(s) such as play as power and identity.

Key words: street play; phenomenology; pre-teens; occupational justice; play space

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ISSN 0038-2337 (print), ISSN 2310-3833 (online)

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