- 文教大学国際学部紀要 = Journal of the Faculty of International Studies Bunkyo University (ISSN:09173072)
- vol.30, no.1, pp.1-16, 2019-07-31
The purpose of this paper is to study the concepts of work and work knowledges in DorothySmith’s Institutional Ethnography.Inspired by the thinking of a feminist group called the Wages for Housework group, she expanded the meaning of work not only into what people are paid to do but also into anything that people do that takes time, effort and intent. The concept of work in this “generous” sense orients the institutional ethnographer to what people are actually doing as they participate in institutional processes. Work knowledges refers to what people know of and in their work and how it is coordinated with the work of others. It is a major resource of the institutional ethnographer. Whether they are produced in interviewer-informant interchange or in participant observation, work knowledges should be evoked dialogically.After brief examination of the definition of these concepts in Smith’s argument, this paper tries to reconsider her researches on women’s mothering work for their children’s schooling. In so doing this paper tries to explicate how sociological investigation based on work and work knowledges could be proceeded. The work and work knowledges in this sense could not be accountable in institutional discourse. This paper explores how IE could discover what people know of and in their work and explore how it is coordinated with the work of others.Lastly, this paper discusses the problem of “institutional capture”. This is a barrier created by the ways in which institutional discourse may enter into the dialogue that produces work knowledges. The objectified knowledge in institutional discourse would subsume and displace descriptions based on experience and prevent the institutional ethnographer from accessing to the people’s work knowledges.Through examining the idea of Smith’s work and work knowledges, this paper tries to develop the method of sociological inquiry into knowing the social from people’s actual everyday world.