Understanding work, learning and the remaking of cultural practices
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This paper focuses on dualities in both the process and outcomes of participation in work. Firstly, the process of participation in work activities and interactions draws on contributions of both individuals and the social world in ways that are variably interdependent, that is, relational. The affordances of workplaces shape the array of experiences individuals are able to access and, they in turn, elect how they engage, construe and construct what is afforded them. Both the social and individual contributions are exercisable with different degrees of intensity, focus and intentionality, thereby making the process of participation in work a relational one. Secondly, and onsistent with these processes, the outcomes of workplace participation also comprise dualities. These are individuals' learning or change, on one hand, and the remaking and transformation of cultural practice that comprises work, on the other. In illuminating and elaborating these concepts, this paper draws upon the initial findings of an inquiry 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. Further, the paper identifies the exercise of both affordances and engagement for each participant within their workplaces. The findings emphasise the distinctive bases by which the groups of workers engage with their work and construct meaning and remake practice as a result of that engagement.
Studies in Continuing Education
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