chapter  11
Home, learning and education
Pages 20

The distinction between the home and other domains is less clear-cut than we first imagined. James Gee refers to a borderland between home and school, with its own borderland discourse (Gee 1990:183; 1992:146). We see borderlands not just between home and school but also between home and work, and between home and public life. If we take the borderland between home and work, we find that people brought their work home, so that other members of the family regularly helped in tasks such as sorting and collating papers, or stuffing envelopes. Wives did bookkeeping and typing for husbands; people with access to typewriters, computers and copying facilities would do small tasks for relatives,

neighbours or community groups. People had trade magazines and nursing journals delivered to their homes and they read them at home. Practices crossed in both directions: people got advice on home form-filling from colleagues at work and took community-related typing into work to be done. People had systems of swapping books and magazines at work and organised Christmas clubs and other money pools in their lunch breaks. Another way in which the distinction between home life and work life was not clear-cut was that people did voluntary activities such as being a hospital visitor or the secretary of a club, which in other contexts would be paid jobs. Others were paid for activities, such as sign-writing and working in a health club, which grew out of their leisure interests.