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Title: Shaping textile-making as an occupational domain : perspectives, contexts and meanings
Author: Riley, Jillian Margaret
ISNI:       0000 0004 2748 982X
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2009
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This ethnography explores textile-making as an occupational domain in the context of a Welsh guild of weavers, spinners and dyers, where I am a member. The guild, an autonomous special interest group, is affiliated to a wider network of guilds and textile organisations. Its members have different backgrounds, interests and experience. As a contemporary craft discipline, textile-making links art and science and incorporates the use of technology, yet its traditional materials, formats and techniques survive from pre-industrial production. As a contribution to occupational science the study explores how people engage in creating textiles by hand individually and collectively, what it means to them in the context of contemporary British (particularly Welsh) and other influential cultures and a technological society together with the significance of textile-making and guild membership to individual and collective identity, and personal and social well-being. Textile-making is explored through a reflexive, visual and interpretive ethnography using constructivist grounded theory as a methodological approach. The study is informed by symbolic interactionist, phenomenological and hermeneutic perspectives and situates the researcher as an insider. Data was gathered during fieldwork through participant observation interviews photography documentary sources and material culture. Theoretically the study accounts for how textile-making as an occupational domain is creatively shaped, moving it beyond traditional practices, by individuals who share their skills and experiences. Through becoming and being textile-makers individuals develop a sense of self and a collective sense of self through belonging to a guild. Ultimately, through socio-cultural networking, capital is created for guild members and others to draw on to enhance personal and social well-being. Methodologically it recounts a personal research journey from an initial idea to a final product highlighting the value of diverse forms of data and the complexity of situating the researcher in reflexive ethnography. The findings imply the need to study occupation as a multi-faceted phenomenon contextually and from different theoretical perspectives.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available