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New Anthropologies of Europe: Perspectives and Provocations
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The Pursuit of Pleasurable Work
Craftwork in Twenty-First Century England
Trevor H. J. Marchand
482 pages, 21 illus., bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-80073-274-2 $179.00/£132.00 / Hb / Published (November 2021)
eISBN 978-1-80073-275-9 eBook
“This book stands at the pinnacle of the body of work produced over the course of a career by a distinguished academic; it is the masterpiece of a craftsman who has sought ceaselessly for greater nuances of skillful expression both in his chosen crafts and in his writings about them.” • Roy Dilley, University of St Andrews
“The Pursuit of Pleasurable Work is an outstanding contribution to the anthropology of craft and education. Marchand’s ethnographic inquiry into British woodworking is intellectually versatile, bringing the fields of economics and work, education and ideology, as well as neuroscience and philosophy to bear on the everyday concern of crafting a meaningful identity and pleasurable life.” • Erin O’Connor, Marymount Manhattan College
Against the backdrop of an alienating, technologizing and ever-accelerating world of material production, this book tells an intimate story: one about a community of woodworkers training at an historic institution in London’s East End during the present ‘renaissance of craftsmanship’. The animated and scholarly accounts of learning, achievement and challenges reveal the deep human desire to create with our hands, the persistent longing to find meaningful work, and the struggle to realise dreams. In its penetrating explorations of the nature of embodied skill, the book champions greater appreciation for the dexterity, ingenuity and intelligence that lie at the heart of craftwork.
Trevor H. J. Marchand is Emeritus Professor of Social Anthropology at SOAS, University of London, and recipient of the Royal Anthropological Institute’s Rivers Memorial Medal. He is also a trained architect (McGill University) and qualified as a fine woodworker at London’s Building Crafts College. Marchand has conducted fieldwork with craftspeople around the world and published extensively, including the monographs Minaret Building and Apprenticeship in Yemen (Routledge, 2001) and The Masons of Djenné (Indiana, 2009).
A Blog post written by Trevor H. J. Marchand:
Subject: Anthropology (General)Sociology
Area: Northern Europe
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