Skip Navigation Links
B. De Munck
Technologies of Learning
Apprenticeship in Antwerp Guilds from the 15th Century to the End of the Ancien Régime

Add to basket ->
XII+306 p., 19 b/w ill., 180 x 250 mm, 2007
ISBN: 978-2-503-52270-8
Languages: English
PaperbackPaperback
The publication is available.The publication is available.
Retail price: EUR 65,00 excl. tax
How to order?
Online content: http://www.brepolsonline.net/action/showBook?doi=10.1484/M.SEUH-EB.5.106330

 The importance of training and education is on the increase. While the production of ‘human capital’ is seen as a motor for a competitive economy, skills and expertise proof to be necessary for social mobility. Remarkably, in conceiving modern forms of ‘apprenticeship’, several mechanisms from the acien régime, seem to return. The difference between public and private initiative is disappearing, education and training is being confused, and in order to acquire generic skills as flexibility, communicability, self-rule, creativity and so on, youngsters have to learn ‘in context’. Even for maths, scholars now talk of ‘situated learning’.

 Before the advent of a formal schooling system, training took place on the shop floor, under the roof of a master. The apprentice not only worked but also lived in his master’s house and was thus trained and educated at the same time. In cities, this system was formally complemented by an official apprenticeship system, prescribing a minimum term to serve and an obligatory masterpiece for those who wanted to become masters themselves. Traditionally, historians see this as an archaic and backward way of training, yet this book’s aim is to show that is was instead a very flexible and dynamic system, perfectly in tune with the demands of an early modern economy.

 In order to understand it fully, however, we should differentiate the informal training system organised via a ‘free market’ of indentures on the one hand and the institutionalised system of craft guilds on the other. In Antwerp, early modern guilds had a project of ‘emancipating’ their members. They didn’t simply produce certain skills, but through a system of quality marks defended the honour of craftsmen. This is the difference with current practices. By representing hands-on skills as superior, guilds supplied a sort of symbolic capital for workers.

 

Bert De Munck is lecturer at the University of Antwerp and member of the Centre for Urban History. His research focuses on the history of the guilds, vocational training and social capital.

Interest Classification:
Fine Arts & Performing Arts
Art History (general)
Renaissance art history
Modern History (1501 to the present)
Early modern history (1501-1800) : main subdisciplines
Social & economic history
Cultural & intellectual history
Early modern European history (1501-1800) : local & regional history
Low Countries

This publication is also distributed by: ISD, Marston
Privacy Policy - Terms and Conditions © 2017 Brepols Publishers NV/SA - All Rights Reserved