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University of Victoria
This dissertation builds upon and extends theorizing in cultural-historical activity theory
(CHAT), which is a recent addition to the sociocultural analysis of learning, identity, and
history. Drawing largely on longitudinal fieldwork conducted in a salmon hatchery in
British Columbia, specifically, and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, more
generally, the present studies affirm the possibility of learning in mundane work
environments as well as discovering what it means to learn and be an expert in the
workplace. In addition, the results show how institutions that aspire to be learning
organizations have to provide access to participation to all its members. The findings
reported here also sensitize workplace researchers to issues of identity inherent during the
process of interviewing besides articulating a new, non-dualistic conception of
organizational identity and organizational identification. The necessity of examining the
cultural-historical dimensions of work activity situates the activity of salmon
enhancement in context in a final study. All these different but related investigations of
work indicate that unless a strongly dialectical stance is maintained throughout activitytheoretic
analysis, cultural-historical theories will not advance. This important
methodological and theoretical principle has manifested itself in the following dialectical
tensions underlying this dissertation: subject|object, individual|collective, and
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HD58.82 Lee
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