Children’s bricolage under the gaze of teachers in sociodramatic play

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Drawing on the theory of dialogism and the literature on children’s culture and cultural resistance, this article investigates the contextual and textual features of the cultural making of a group of children in sociodramatic play in a Hong Kong kindergarten. Different from other, similar studies, this study reports that under the gaze of the teacher, children’s play is largely practised as a reproduction of the teacher’s cultural texts. Children’s culture or resistance only arises as a bricolage of various cultural texts in which the cultural texts of the teacher and the children are intertwined, dissonant and hybridized. Two major modes of bricolage are identified. They are hybridization and invalidation. This result suggests that the teacher’s strategies and authoritarian discourse are suppressive of the children’s culture, aiming largely to shape the way and process of their cultural making. Nonetheless, from the evidence in this study, it is believed that bricoleur is a creative act as it involves tactful and creative appropriation, orchestration and transformation of all sorts of cultural texts which are at hand. The pretend play corner is consequently reframed and recreated as a heteroglot playing space of the children’s own. Copyright © 2012 The Author(s).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244-259
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012


Tam, P. C. (2012). Children’s bricolage under the gaze of teachers in sociodramatic play. Childhood, 20(2), 244-259.


  • Bricolage
  • Children’s culture
  • Creative resistance
  • Hybridization
  • Reproduction
  • Sociodramatic play
  • Tactics


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