City Play: Exploring temporality and space in Cairo's play dynamics

Student thesis: Master of Philosophy


This research seeks to explore the characteristics of play from a children's perspective in the current context of Cairo using visual research methods. Play, although very present culturally in Cairo, is seen as a form of entertainment and never a biological trait deserving the attention of researchers. As such any debate of play is excluded from educational policies and consequently from the schooling system. The research I've conducted explores the characteristics of play through visual methods, and focuses on the dialectic between spatio-temporality, and the disposition to play. The analysis is made comparing and contrasting the everyday situations in which children see themselves at play, especially pretend-play. The children identified and observed play in topics as broad as politics, womanhood, city planning, the role of the police, and the mechanisms of money and the monetary system. The research findings suggest that in play the child learns to adapt to cultural norms and activities while acquiring tools to think about, engage with, and potentially, to recreate and reinvent the structure of society.
Date of Award3 Jan 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorAndrew Irving (Supervisor) & Rupert Cox (Supervisor)


  • egypt
  • play

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