Open seminar: Topics and issues in practice-based studies

Presenter: Professor Silvia Gherardi, University of Trento

Professor Silvia Gherardi, University of Trento. Photo: Private


The seminar's aim is to provide insight into new methodological resources developed to study change process “from below”, with a particular emphasis on resent work done within the field of practice-based studies. The practice-based approach to the study of work has been widely adopted in recent years, yet its theoretical and methodological systematization has only just begun. Drawing on cases presented in her new book on the topic, Silvia Gherardi (2012) provides an overview on the topics and issues addressed by practice-based studies. Further, using core examples both from her own work and that of colleagues she elaborates the critical issues at stake and provides methodological guidance on how to conduct empirical research on practices, and how to interpret them from three central perspectives: practices from outside', practices 'from inside', and the social effects produced by practices.

Silvia Gherardi

Silvia Gherardi is Professor of Sociology of Work at the Faculty of Sociology, University of Trento, Italy, where she has been Director of the Research Unit on Communication, Organizational Learning, and Aesthetics since 1993. Areas of interest include the exploration of different "soft" aspects of knowing at work and in organizations, with a particular emphasis on communicative, emotional, symbolic, and linguistic aspects of organizational process. Her most recent book (How to conduct a practice-based study: problems and methods. Edward Elgar, 2012) discusses methodologies for the empirical study of learning and knowing in work practices.

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Published Mar. 14, 2013 12:22 PM - Last modified Apr. 16, 2015 3:22 PM