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Research Domain: Group Three - Informal Learning Cultures

Title of Project: Historical and Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Working-Class Informal Learning Practices

Start Date: April 1, 1997
Academic Investigator: Dr. T. Dunk (Lakehead U.)

This project is rooted in the critical sociology and anthropology of knowledge. It examines the relationship between class divisions, the production of knowledge and its recognition or reception in society at large. It is concerned with the relationship between socially constructed definitions and valuations of knowledge, power and social inequality. It also is concerned with the way in which the habits of different social classes influences the form that learning, knowledge production and communication takes and how this, in turn, is reflected in and affected by the reproduction of class difference.

The empirical focus of my research project is the way in which working-class individuals learn about nature and the environment and how this knowledge is either legitimized through its incorporation into science, through the intermediary of socially recognized intellectuals, or is socially invalidated as irrelevant or unsubstantiated. Most of my research to date has involved library and archival research, with workers involved in the pulp and paper industry (both in the mill and the forest) involved in industrial restructuring, environmental conflicts, and vocational training.


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