Synopses & Reviews
The concept of 'communities of practice' (Lave and Wenger 1991, Wenger 1998) has become an influential one in education, management, and social sciences in recent years. This book consists of a series of studies by linguists and educational researchers, examining and developing aspects of the concept which have remained relatively unexplored. Framings provided by theories of language-in-use, literacy practices, and discourse extend the concept, bringing to light issues around conflict, power, and the significance of the broader social context which have been overlooked. Chapters assess the relationship between communities of practice and other theories including literacy studies, critical language studies, the ethnography of communication, socio-cultural activity theory, and sociological theories of risk. Domains of empirical research reported include schools, police stations, adult basic education, higher education, and multilingual settings. The book highlights the need to incorporate thinking around language-in-use, power and conflict, and social context into communities of practice.
The concept of "communities of practice" (Lave and Wenger 1991, Wenger 1998) has become influential in education, management, and social sciences in recent years. This volume emphasizes the significance of language, power, and social context in understanding how communities of practice work. Domains of empirical research reported include schools, police stations, adult basic education, higher education and multilingual settings. The relationship between communities of practice and literacy studies, critical language studies, the ethnography of communication, socio-cultural activity theory, and sociological theories of risk is also evaluated.
This book consists of a set of studies exploring the concept of 'communities of practice'.
About the Author
David Barton is Professor of Language and Literacy in the Department of Linguistics at Lancaster University. He is Director of the Lancaster Literacy Research Centre. His main work has been concerned with carrying out detailed studies of literacy practices in different domains of life and with rethinking the nature of literacy in contemporary society.Karin Tusting is a Research Associate at the Literacy Research Centre at Lancaster University. She is currently working on the Adult Learners' Lives project, an ethnography study of the relationship between learning and other aspects of people's lives, working with adult literacy, numeracy, and ESOL learners.
Table of Contents
Introduction; 1. Literacy, reification, and the dynamics of social interaction David Barton and Mary Hamilton; 2. Language and power in communities of practice Karin Tusting; 3. Mediating allegations of racism in a multiethnic London school: what speech communities and communities of practice can tell us about discourse and power Angela Creese; 4. 'I've picked some up from a colleague': language, sharing, and communities of practice in an institutional setting Frances Rock; 5. The person in the doing: negotiating the experience of self Maria Clara Keating; 6. Communities of practice and learning communities: do bilingual co-workers learn in community? Deirdre Martin; 7. Moving beyond communities of practice in adult basic education Steven Robert Harris and Nicola Shelswell; 8. Communities of practice in higher education: useful heuristic or educational model? Mary Lea; 9. Communities of practice, risk, and Sellafield Greg Myers; 10. Semiotic social spaces and affinity spaces: from 'the age of mythology' to today's schools James Paul Gee.