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Relational Skill & Learning

The aim of this website is to promote the development of a Relational Perspective on key issues in respect of

The site is currently constructed with four main areas:

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The term 'Relational Perspective' is used to draw upon those approaches to social theorising which seek to emphasise the interactionist and relational nature of social phenomena. Important influences include symbolic interactionism, negotiated order theory, social constructionism, structuration theory, cultural and discursive psychology.

Applied to the analysis of skill and learning, a relational perspective approaches these phenomena as emergent properties of social processes and social relationships. Skills do not exist in and of themselves; rather, the term 'skill' is an attribution made in the context of the social processes by which membership of an arena of practical action is gained and maintained. Cognate terms such as 'competence' and 'capability', and often the term 'knowledge', serve the same discursive function. The Relational Perspective thus provides a critique of much of current educational and training policy, and the practices such policies seek to promote.

Such reframing has significant implications for attempts to understand the nature of organisation and management, providing the basis for developing alternatives to the dominant managerialist conceptions of how purposive collective action may be organised. This has significant implications particularly for reconceptualising current issues for local community-based social and economic regeneration.

The rapid development of the new technologies, particularly the internet, affords new modes of interaction and communication. These challenge our traditional understandings of social processes and thus of social structures, as the spatial and temporal patterns which hitherto formed the basis of interaction are radically transformed. Local, physical adjacency and concurrency in time are displaced by the opportunities for both instantaneous and asynchronous communication over any distance.

Website managed by:
Dr Leonard Holmes
Reader in Management
School of Business and Social Sciences
Roehampton University
SW15 5PU



Updated 12th March 2009

Disclaimer: The information presented and views expressed should not be taken as policy of Roehampton University

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