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Developing Personhood: The discourse, experience, and material culture of children’s play activities in a WWII Japanese American Internment Camp

Author(s): April Kamp-Whittaker

Year: 2016

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Summary

Recent studies apply the concept of "personhood" to the archaeological record as part of the continuing attempt to understand the complexities of past societies by moving away from gross categories and instead examining socially constructed roles. This paper explores the application of "personhood" as a way to transcend a broadly defined focus on "children" or "childhood." Such generalizing terms can obscure the impact of gender, age, and other social or economic variables on children’s interactions and appearance in the archaeological record. Research from Amache, a WWII Japanese Internment Camp, is used to look at social expectations of play activities and locations based on age and gender and correlate these to the existing archival and archaeological record. The ability to differentiate gender and age categories from material objects has broad implications for our interpretation of the archaeological record and methods for defining the terms children and childhood.


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Cite this Record

Developing Personhood: The discourse, experience, and material culture of children’s play activities in a WWII Japanese American Internment Camp. April Kamp-Whittaker. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 434516)


Keywords

Temporal Keywords
1940


Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 592

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America