Examining Work, Learning and the Remaking of Cultural Practices Through the Duality of Affordances and Engagement
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This paper elaborates the dualities in both the process of participation in work. Participation in work activities and interactions draws on the contributions of both individuals and the social world in ways that are interdependent, yet relational. The affordances of workplaces shape the array of experiences able to be accessed by individuals who, in turn, elect how they engage, construe and construct what the workplace affords them. Both the social and individual contributions are exercisable with different degrees of intensity, focus and intentionality, making the process of participation a negotiated and relational one. In illuminating and elaborating these concepts, this paper draws upon the initial findings of a research project that is mapping the working lives of groups of three workers in each of four workplaces. The aim is to understand how these relational interdependences shape the participation, learning and remaking of work practices in these workplaces, their workers and identify the exercise of both affordances and engagement for each participant within the same workplace, and then to make comparisons across the four workplaces. The findings emphasise the distinctive bases by which individuals engage with work and construct meaning and practice through that engagement and, in turn, their remaking of work practices.
Vocational Learning: Transitions, Interrelationships. Partnerships and Sustainable Futures
© 2005 Australian Academic Press. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Use hypertext link to access the publishers website.