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Teaching the Whole Body: Apprenticeships in Gwich'in Canoe Building


Teaching the Whole Body: Apprenticeships in Gwich'in Canoe Building

Goldner, Jonathan (2016) Teaching the Whole Body: Apprenticeships in Gwich'in Canoe Building. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Academic inquiry has long privileged abstract knowledge by creating cognitive schemas of understanding that are primarily transmitted through language. Given that we understand the world through all of our sensory modes and bodily participation, apprenticeships offer a unique opportunity to study the multiple ways in which we acquire knowledge. This thesis considers how embodied knowledge is co-constructed between master and apprentice in the context of a long-term research creation field study with skilled craftsmen learning to build birch bark canoes. In repudiating the separation of mind and body, and the categorical tidiness of dialectical models that address the interactions between people, objects and the environment, it is herein argued that knowledge emerges in a field of total corporal experience that is embodied through skilled practices. Apprenticeships in canoe building reveal that while dialogue is an important instructional tool, kinaesthetic interactions with materials situated in landscapes are also profound actors in ways of knowing.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Sociology and Anthropology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Goldner, Jonathan
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Social and Cultural Anthropology
Thesis Supervisor(s):Watson, Mark and Howes, David
ID Code:981938
Deposited On:08 Nov 2016 13:58
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:54
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