Making Space for Consuming Practices

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Vocations and Learning, 2016, 9 (2), pp. 167 - 184
Issue Date:
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© 2015, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. This empirically driven paper is about workplace learning with specific focus on the ‘work’ of consuming practices. By consuming we refer to the eating, and the drinking, and (at times) to the smoking that workers, in most organisations, do on a daily basis. Indeed, it is the quotidian nature of consuming, coupled with its absence from workplace learning research that make them noteworthy practices to explore. In using the term practice we draw on the recent tranche of practice based theorisations: notably Schatzki (1996, Organization Studies, 26(3), 465-484, 2005, Organization Studies, 27(12), 1863-1873, 2006) and Gherardi (Human Relations, 54(1), 131-139, 2001, 2006, Learning Organization, 16(5), 352-359, 2009). The paper frames consuming practices as ‘dispersed’ (general) practices and, illustrated through empirical data from multiple projects, we progressively outline how these contribute to the learning of ‘integrative’ (specialized work) practices. Our overall aim is to (re)position consuming practices from prosaic, to having much relevance for research on workplace learning.
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