1st Edition

Educating in Life Ethnographies of Challenging New Normals

By Herve Varenne Copyright 2019
    302 Pages
    by Routledge

    302 Pages 22 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This volume investigates the ubiquitous education of everyday life as people contest the normal, settle on a new convention, and deal with the difficulties that arise. By documenting adolescent Dominican girls, young men in Silicon Valley, successful venture capitalists, and others imagining, explaining, and challenging the status quo, this book presents evidence that the proper starting point for education is struggle and play within and around institutionalized social and cultural conditions. Through a development of Varenne’s earlier research at the intersection of anthropology and education, this book highlights transformative work that constructs new cultures, and it presents a revitalized theory of culture, difference, and education.

    Introduction: When is education?

    Part I - Making trouble and designing new normals

    1. Normals, emerging and diverging (Varenne)

    2. Girls, taking new directions (Wessler and Varenne)

    3. Designing, animating and repairing a suitable DoItYourself biology lab (Scroggins and Varenne)

    4. Re-designing capitalism (Souleles and Varenne)

    5. Teachers, educating themselves about their school (Koyama and Varenne)

    Part II - Living with difficult normals, old and new

    1. Figuring out the ages of autism (de Wolfe and Varenne)

    2. Mothers, educating themselves about their children’s futures in Mexico and the United States (Oliveira and Varenne)

    3. To not/wear or to not not/wear hijab: The girls and boys of Bangladesh Avenue in America (Sammadar Corrado and Varenne)

    4. Animals instructing humans instructing animals (Van Tiem and Varenne)

    5. What next? Keeping life in education (Varenne)


    Hervé Varenne is a professor of Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, USA.

    With support of

    Juliette de Wolfe is assistant professor of Special Education at Relay Graduate School of Education, USA.

    Jill Koyama is an associate professor of Educational Policy Studies & Practice in the College of Education at the University of Arizona, USA.

    Gabrielle Oliveira is an assistant professor of Foundations of Education in the Lynch School of Education and Human Development at Boston College, MA, USA.

    Sunonda Samaddar is a professor of Anthropology at Wayne County Community College, USA.

    Michael Scroggins is a postdoctoral researcher in the Graduate School of Education & Information Studies at UCLA, USA.

    Daniel Souleles is an assistant professor in the Department of Management, Politics, and Philosophy at the Copenhagen Business School, Denmark.

    Jennifer M. Van Tiem is an adjunct assistant professor of International & Transcultural Studies at Teachers College, Columbia University, USA.

    Sarah Wessler is an adjunct professor of Anthropology at Fairfield University, USA.