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Learning and Everyday Life
Access, Participation, and Changing Practice


  • Author: Jean Lave, University of California, Berkeley
  • Date Published: March 2019
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108727433

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About the Authors
  • Written by world-renowned social anthropologist, Jean Lave, with an afterword by Brazilian anthropologist Ana Maria R. Gomes, this book weaves together ethnographic accounts of work and learning, apprenticeship and everyday life, through a critical theory of practice. Each chapter explores in different ways the proposition that learning is a collective, transformative process of change in the historically political complex relations of everyday life. At the same time, the book demonstrates the changing character of Lave's own research practice over two decades. Lave addresses work practices and everyday life and discusses the problem of context and decontextualization. Analyzing two decades of ethnographic studies of craft apprenticeship, she explores teaching as learning and examines the reciprocal effects of theories of everyday life and learning.

    • Provides an anthropological approach to comprehending and studying learning that will be useful for courses on everyday life and social practice, courses on different approaches to teaching and learning, and courses on political conflict, social organizing and social change
    • Argues the social, collective and political character of 'learning', which is relevant to every social science discipline as it addresses issues of social change
    • Traces twenty-five years of Lave's work, including her own retrospective review of 'situated learning'
    • The chapters can be read in any order, each having its own introduction
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'In this extraordinarily good book, Jean Lave takes us on a journey to make sense of what it means to learn in - and as - changing practice. Against patronising or static conceptions of everyday life and against educational psychologists' abstractions of the mind, Lave questions the conflictual, changing and contradictory ways in which people become apprentices to their own changing practice. In so doing, she points to the conditions of possibility for revolutionising practice, developing a particularly powerful understanding of the potential within a dialectically framed philosophy of praxis.' Alex Loftus, King's College London

    'Jean Lave is back - if she ever went away! The author of Cognition in Practice has influenced fields as diverse as science and technology studies, critical psychology, and ontological anthropology with her uncompromising critique of the intellectualist theories of cognition at the heart of the social sciences. In these essays, a new generation of readers can learn from her cunning practice of learning as it has transpired from the 1980s to the present.' Peter Skafish, Collège de France

    'In this original, quintessentially Lavian collection of essays, Jean Lave's commitment to explicating her own participation in an ongoing/changing scholarly practice is an integral thread, woven elegantly throughout the text. The result is an invaluable synthesis of Jean Lave's unique anthropological contribution to learning as everyday practice.' Lucy Suchman, Lancaster University

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2019
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108727433
    • length: 192 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 153 x 12 mm
    • weight: 0.29kg
    • contains: 1 b/w illus.
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: the long life of learning in practice
    1. The savagery of the domestic mind
    2. The problem of context and practices of decontextualization
    3. Ethnographies of apprenticeship
    4. Teaching as learning in practice
    5. Production schools
    6. Everyday life: logical operator, social zone or social practice
    7. Situated learning: historical process and practice
    Afterword: learning together: new challenges and ethnographic scenarios Ana Maria R. Gomes.

  • Author

    Jean Lave, University of California, Berkeley
    Jean Lave is Professor Emerita at the University of California, Berkeley. She is a social anthropologist and critical theorist. Her books include one of the most cited works in the social sciences Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation (with E. Wenger, Cambridge, 1991) as well as the prize winning Understanding Practice (with S. Chaiklin, Cambridge, 1993).


    Ana Maria R. Gomes, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil

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