- ソシオロジ (ISSN:05841380)
- vol.56, no.2, pp.3-118, 2011-10-31 (Released:2015-05-13)
Despite an abundance of application opportunities, for a long time Goffman’s sociology of play/games has practically been ignored in the studies of play theory. The aim of this paper is to give his sociology of play an appropriate position in the historical development of play theories. To this end, the following points are demonstrated: 1. What were the achievements and the problems of the play theories (of Huizinga, Caillois, and Bateson) before Goffman? 2. How did Goffman inherit the previous works’ achievements and solve their problems? 3. What kind of relationship did Goffman’s sociology of play have with Csikszentmihalyi’s flow theory, which had the greatest influence on the development of play theories after Goffman? While Caillois basically inherited Huizinga’s definitions of play he criticized Huizinga’s concept of play as being too wide, and his definitions of play are not appropriate for “play” as a whole but only to a part of it. Therefore, Caillois redefined “play” to the domain of culture, and also he classified “play” into four by two categories. Responding to Caillois’ criticism of Huizinga, Goffman developed Bateson’s frame theory, and he showed that the fun of play can be explained through a single, integrated one without any classification. This new frame theory by Goffman can be summarized as the playing field introducing various valuable things from the outside world into itself through its frame while blocking any irrelevant objects; it is important to balance the way of its reflection of the outside world in order to heighten participants’ concentration on its unique reality utilizing randomness and symbolic distance. This theory of Goffman’s is in a complementary relationship with Csikszentmihalyi’s flow theory, which also emphasizes concentration, and thus its integration will lead to a more complete theory.