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Managing Pleasurable Pursuits: Utopic Horizons and the Arts of Ignoring and ‘Not Knowing’ among Fine Woodworkers

Marchand, Trevor H. J. (2015) 'Managing Pleasurable Pursuits: Utopic Horizons and the Arts of Ignoring and ‘Not Knowing’ among Fine Woodworkers.' In: Dilley, Roy and Kirsch, Thomas, (eds.), Regimes of Ignorance: anthropological perspectives on the Production and Reproduction of Non-Knowledge. Oxford: Berghahn, pp. 70-90. (Methodology & History in Anthropology; 29)

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Abstract

The chapter is grounded in fieldwork with fine-woodwork trainees on a two-year programme at the Building Crafts College in East London. The majority of trainees aspired to become makers of bespoke furniture and to exercise autonomy over the design, production and sale of their wares. For many, the pursuit of a carpentry career was intertwined with their utopian pursuits of pleasurable work and a satisfying life. However, trainees, workshop convenors and college administrators largely ignored the business-skill training needed to thrive and survive as an independent artisan in the U.K. By following a cohort through their programme to graduation, the chapter explores some of the missed opportunities to better prepare trainees for the harsh realities of the marketplace.

Item Type: Book Chapters
Keywords: business skills, college training, craftwork, ignorance, marketplace, not knowing, utopia, woodwork
SOAS Departments & Centres: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Department of Anthropology and Sociology
ISBN: 9781782388388
Depositing User: Trevor Marchand
Date Deposited: 23 Oct 2015 19:28
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/21143

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