Bring a plate: facilitating experimentation in the Welcome Dinner Project

Flowers, RIck and Swan, Elaine (2018) Bring a plate: facilitating experimentation in the Welcome Dinner Project. Studies in education of adults, 49 (2). pp. 269-287. ISSN 0266-0830

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Drawing on in-depth empirical research, we explore a project called The Welcome Dinner (WDP). The WDP aims to bring together ‘newly arrived’ people and ‘established Australians’ to meet and ‘share stories’ over a potluck meal in ‘the comfort of their own home’. The purpose is to create meaningful connections, new friendships and social solidarities. In this paper, we focus on the micro-contexts of the dinners and the minute activities and techniques that facilitators use in hosting. Our aim is not to analyse the effects of the project but rather the design and meaning of the activities. As a form of ‘designed everyday multiculturalism’, focused on welcoming new arrivals to Australia, it takes effort, skill and labour to manage the contact between different cultural groups over organised meals. Thus, facilitators take over the hosting of the lunches and dinners to run activities, which are imagined to lubricate social dynamics and relations, and produce convivial commensal affects and behaviours. Drawing on theories of training activities as embodied and cognitive experimentations, which enable new knowledge practices and social relations, we analyse field notes and interviews about the facilitation, structure and activities at the WDP home dinners.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: University of Sussex Business School > Management
Research Centres and Groups: Future of Work Hub
Depositing User: Elaine Swan
Date Deposited: 16 May 2018 16:04
Last Modified: 12 Nov 2019 14:16

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