Join our Email List Berghahn Books Logo

berghahn New York · Oxford

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Youtube
  • Instagram
The Pursuit of Pleasurable Work: Craftwork in Twenty-First Century England

View Table of Contents

Volume 4

New Anthropologies of Europe: Perspectives and Provocations

See Related
Anthropology Journals

Email Newsletters

Sign up for our email newsletters to get customized updates on new Berghahn publications.

Click here to select your preferences

The Pursuit of Pleasurable Work

Craftwork in Twenty-First Century England

Trevor H. J. Marchand

482 pages, 21 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-80073-274-2 $179.00/£132.00 / Hb / Published (November 2021)

eISBN 978-1-80073-275-9 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit  Buy the eBook! $34.95info on epub formatRequest a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


“This book stands at the pinnacle of the body of work produced over the course of a career by a distinguished academic; it is the masterpiece of a craftsman who has sought ceaselessly for greater nuances of skillful expression both in his chosen crafts and in his writings about them.” • Roy Dilley, University of St Andrews

The Pursuit of Pleasurable Work is an outstanding contribution to the anthropology of craft and education. Marchand’s ethnographic inquiry into British woodworking is intellectually versatile, bringing the fields of economics and work, education and ideology, as well as neuroscience and philosophy to bear on the everyday concern of crafting a meaningful identity and pleasurable life.” • Erin O’Connor, Marymount Manhattan College


Against the backdrop of an alienating, technologizing and ever-accelerating world of material production, this book tells an intimate story: one about a community of woodworkers training at an historic institution in London’s East End during the present ‘renaissance of craftsmanship’. The animated and scholarly accounts of learning, achievement and challenges reveal the deep human desire to create with our hands, the persistent longing to find meaningful work, and the struggle to realise dreams. In its penetrating explorations of the nature of embodied skill, the book champions greater appreciation for the dexterity, ingenuity and intelligence that lie at the heart of craftwork.

Trevor H. J. Marchand is Emeritus Professor of Social Anthropology at SOAS, University of London, and recipient of the Royal Anthropological Institute’s Rivers Memorial Medal. He is also a trained architect (McGill University) and qualified as a fine woodworker at London’s Building Crafts College. Marchand has conducted fieldwork with craftspeople around the world and published extensively, including the monographs Minaret Building and Apprenticeship in Yemen (Routledge, 2001) and The Masons of Djenné (Indiana, 2009).

A Blog post written by Trevor H. J. Marchand:

Subject: Anthropology (General)Sociology
Area: Northern Europe


Download ToC (PDF)

Back to Top

Library Recommendation Form

Dear Librarian,

I would like to recommend The Pursuit of Pleasurable Work Craftwork in Twenty-First Century England for the library. Please include it in your next purchasing review with my strong recommendation. The RRP is: $179.00

I recommend this title for the following reasons:

BENEFIT FOR THE LIBRARY: This book will be a valuable addition to the library's collection.

REFERENCE: I will refer to this book for my research/teaching work.

STUDENT REFERRAL: I will regularly refer my students to the book to assist their studies.

OWN AFFILIATION: I am an editor/contributor to this book or another book in the Series (where applicable) and/or on the Editorial Board of the Series, of which this volume is part.