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PhD Scholarship at The Bloomsbury Colleges, University of London

Deadline: 31 May 2011

Intelligent Hands: A Cross-Cultural Study Of Apprenticeship And Skilled Work

Lead Supervisor: Professor Trevor H J Marchand (SOAS)

Co-Supervisor: Professor Lorna Unwin (IoE)

The project will develop an interdisciplinary approach to the study of apprenticeship and skilled work by capitalising upon anthropology’s fieldwork tradition and focus on social interaction, and the expertise of educational studies in vocational learning. As a model of learning, apprenticeship has been resilient over many centuries throughout the world, providing the framework for teaching and learning in occupations spanning traditional crafts and trades and occupations in journalism, medicine and law. In their seminal book, Situated Learning (1991), cultural anthropologists Lave and Wenger employed case studies of apprenticeship  to argue that people learn through purposeful participation in 'communities of practice'. Their deliberate focus on apprenticeship legitimises forms of learning and knowledge that lay outside formal educational institutions, and celebrate ‘skilled’ work as a practice which combines different types of knowledge (codified, tacit, personal), judgment, and creativity.

In the past decade, there has been a newfound interest in craftsmanship. The recent global economic crisis, increased awareness of the need for more sustainable patterns of consumption and economic growth, and acknowledgement that making/ creating and mending are, for many people, deeply satisfying activities, have highlighted the need to recognise the importance of craftsmanship, albeit redefined for the contemporary age. The aim of this project is to develop the basis for a robust cross-cultural and inter-disciplinary comparative analysis of apprenticeship as a model of learning for skilled work in non-Western settings and to use this to take a fresh look at the evidence from Western countries.

Requirements
The minimum entrance requirement for research degree at SOAS is a UK Masters degree or equivalent recognised by the School. Candidates should have an undergraduate and/or master level degree in Anthropology, with a merit or equivalent in the Masters Degree and a MA dissertation grade of 65% or higher. Existing fieldwork experience and knowledge of the literature on apprenticeship, vocational learning, craft and work would be beneficial.

The successful candidate will engage in an uninterrupted period of intensive fieldwork in Africa or Asia to gather original ethnographic data in occupational communities of practice. They will also actively engage with Marchand and Unwin in a unique cross-cultural comparative study that synthesises the multi-sited work of all three researchers.

Key References:

  1. Fuller, A. and Unwin, L. (2010) ‘Change and continuity in apprenticeship: the resilience of a model of learning’, Journal of Education and Work, 25(5): 405-416.
  2. Ingold, T. (2000) The Perception of the Environment: essays on livelihood, dwelling and skill, London: Routledge.
  3. Lave, J. and Wenger, E. (1991) Situated Learning, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  4. Marchand, T. (2009) The Masons of Djenné, Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
  5. Marchand, T. (2001) Minaret Building and Apprenticeship in Yemen, London: Curzon (Routledge).
  6. Unwin, L. (2009) Sensuality, Sustainability and Social Justice: Vocational Education in Changing Times, Inaugural Professorial Lecture, London: Institute of Education.

Further details about the project may be obtained from:

Lead Supervisor: Professor Trevor H J Marchand, tm6@soas.ac.uk

Co-Supervisor: Professor Lorna Unwin, L.Unwin@ioe.ac.uk

Further information about PhDs at SOAS and the Department of Anthropology and Sociology  is available from:

PhDs at SOAS
http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/research/

The Department of Anthropology and Sociology
http://www.soas.ac.uk/anthropology/

How to apply:

Applicants must complete the attached Bloomsbury College PhD Studentship application form. http://www.bloomsbury.ac.uk/studentships/studentships_11/soas_appform_intelligent_hands

The completed Studentship application form should be returned to:

Miss Alicia Sales
Scholarships Officer, Registry
SOAS
Thornhaugh Street
London WC1H 0XG
UK

For any queries regarding the the Studentship application form, please e-mail:  scholarships@soas.ac.uk

Applicants must also make an application for Mphil/Phd at SOAS:

http://www.soas.ac.uk/admissions/pg/research/

IMPORTANT: As the Studentship is run by the Department of Anthropology and Sociology, applicants must choose Anthropology and Sociology Studies Research as the programme of study for their application for Mphil/PhD

The application for Mphil/PhD should be returned as soon as possible but no later than the Studentship's closing date as Studentship applicants must be accepted for the Mphil/PhD.

When applying, please indicate where you found out about this studentship (please state the publication title/ web address).

Closing date for applications: 31 May 2011

Source: http://www.bloomsbury.ac.uk/studentships/studentships_11/intelligent_hands

PhD Scholarship at The Bloomsbury Colleges, University of London

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