Learning Craft Skills in China: Apprenticeship and Social Capital in an Artisan Community of Practice



This article discusses some of the consequences of collectivization and subsequent privatization of handicraft in China in the second half of the 20th century on ways of learning and modes of apprenticeship. It argues that, after the privatization of the ceramics workshops of Dingshu, Jiangsu province, an ethos of sharing previously introduced by collectivization continues to determine the paths of transmission of practical knowledge and facilitates exclusion of access to knowledge from community outsiders.