This book provides an insight into the work and learning experiences of female auxiliary workers within the legal sector in Australia. It focuses on describing the many constraints which affect womens’ work and their learning. It also examines how womens' participation in work generates learning which aims at self development and personal agency. The investigation is a critical ethnography, as this methodological framework was considered the least intrusive means to establish what was happening in legal workplaces, through observations, interviews and reflective diaries. The study also borrows from autoethnographic research traditions to weave in a history of the researcher’s own workplace experiences. Once data were collected and analysed, through constant comparison, it was found that there is strong evidence of personal epistemologies, reflexive practice and personal agency being exercised in the conduct of auxiliary women’s work and learning in spite of low affordances. Overall, the study provides an original contribution to knowledge and understanding in the field of workplace learning and vocational development.
Dr Jillian Cavanagh has had extensive experience as a Legal Practice Manager and Consultant, and Convenor (Course Co-ordinator) and Lecturer at various universities within Australia. Her areas of academic research and interest include workplace learning, human resource management, strategic management, and organisational development.