I love learning. I literally made a career out of it.
Like most children, I drove the grown ups around me crazy with my incessant use of the word ‘why’? And I simply haven’t grown out of it. The why question is at the heart of what drives me in the work I do. Why is there a pay gap? Why do we continue to structure so many systems around a gender binary divide? Why are we scared to talk about sexuality and identity? Why do we choose to shine a spotlight on some and leave others in the dark?
Theory helps me make sense of these questions. It doesn’t give me the answer. It enables me to form a framework and provides structure to the process. I’m a theoretical magpie. I love Foucault’s work on regimes of truth and Bourdieu’s concept of field and habitus. I may use these as lenses to observe and understand power dynamics in hierarchical relationships. Or I may use Johnson and Scholes cultural web to understand why some organisations remain so incredibly patricacal despite numerous strategies to expand diversity.
For me nothing comes close to the thrill of browsing a bookshop or library (the old fashions ones that still have books on the shelves). Every time I step into such a place I feel the thrill of possibility. The infinite knowledge and insights crammed onto those shelves. The opportunity to escape to unleash the imagination and to find the answers to life’s questions. I can still feel the butterflies in my tummy as a child when the librarian would stamp my ticket and file away the little card. I may have been an annoying child asking all the why questions, but I was clearly easily pleased with a trip to the local library!!!