Transformations at work: Identity and learning
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This paper examines how identity and learning are constituted and transformed at work. Its central concern is how individuals engage agentically in and learn through workplace practices, and in ways that transform work. Drawing upon recent research into work and participation in workplaces, the negotiated and contested relationship between workplace practices and individuals' identity and intentionality, and learning is illuminated and discussed. For instance, aged care workers and coal miners acquire work injuries that are almost emblematic of their work identity. Only particularly dramatic events (i.e. serious illness or workplace accidents) wholly transform their identity and views about work practice - their subjectivities (Somerville 2002). However, it is through the agentic actions of these individuals - that workplace practices are can be transformed. Yet, individuals' agentic action is not necessarily directed to the abstracted and de-contextualised economic and civic goals (Field 2000) privileged in lifelong learning policies (Edwards, Ranson & Strain 2002). Instead, there is relational interdependency between the individual and work that can act to sustain or transform both self and their work. Individuals' agentic action is exercised within these relations in ways directed by their subjectivities. So these relations and that agentic action has policy and practice implications for the conduct of work and learning through and for work.
Studies in Continuing Education
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