Making the unseen visible: How can ‘practice theory’ help us talk about the work we do in the voluntary and community sector?
Our book New Practices for New Publics: theories of social practice and the community and voluntary sector was launched on Thursday Feb 1st, 1 – 4pm, University of Brighton.
Over more than two years from November 2015, university academics and voluntary and community sector workers met through a series of events funded by the Economic and Social Research Council that explored whether and how new academic theories might help understand the everyday work that the sector does. We found that some of these theories were valuable in drawing attention to activities and approaches that are common place in the sector, but often ‘unseen’ or not recognised by policy makers and funders – in particular the things people do related to ideas of care. During an intense five-day ‘book sprint’ in July 2017 we worked together to put our thoughts into a co-written book: New Practices for New Publics: theories of social practice and the community and voluntary sector. This is available to download for free from our website here: https://blogs.brighton.ac.uk/newpracticesfornewpublics/the-book-of-the-series/ .
At the book launch, we shared what we learned during our events and why we thought it mattered. We also reflected on the experience of co-authorship in a ‘book sprint’. The event included presentations from community partners including Community Works, the Community University Partnership Programme and New Cross Learning on the themes of the series/ the book. Lunch was provided by one of our community partners, Real Junk Food.