Stigma avoidance through visual contextualization: Adult toy play on photo-sharing social media

Katriina Heljakka, J. Tuomas Harviainen, Jaakko Suominen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

While the benefits of play have been widely recognized, carrying out activities with toys at adult age is still often seen as stigmatizing behaviour. Some adults solve this issue by referring to their toy activities as either hobbies or collecting. Yet, the primary purpose of toys is play. People may therefore utilize their toys for new kinds of play. One popular decision is the utilization of toys in photographs and videos aiming at personalization and storytelling on social media. Using eight interviews, we point out that this visual contextualization of play ties into not only the adults’ sublimation of their desires to use their toys but also to threads of cultural history in which sublimated or substituted artistic uses have been found for objects. Finally, we show that this activity too is a form of play, made possible by the existence of photo-sharing sites like Flickr and Instagram.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalNew Media & Society
Volume20
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)2781-2799
Number of pages19
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28.09.2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed

Keywords

  • 616 Other humanities
  • Digital culture
  • Toy research
  • Photography
  • Play
  • 512 Business and Management

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