From Wenger's Communities of Practice we find an intriguing early description of the typical behavior of a certain body of practioners. Namely:
- Resolve institutionally generated conflict
- Espouse a communal memory
- Allow community joining through participation
- Create a localized lexicon and lens
- Promote an interwoven atmosphere to defeat the monotonous elements
Consider the classic film Office Space, widely noted as a definitive look into the lives of mindless office drones. Yet, in light of Wenger, what do we find? The protagonists resolve institutionally generated conflict (destroying things with bats), espouse a communal memory (an implicit fear of "the Bobs"), create a localized lexicon and lens (TPS reports!), and participate in an interwoven atmosphere (the cheeriest birthday celebration in recent memory).
As I continue to process through Wenger, I find myself frequently underlining phrases and sentiments that I have experienced- concepts that make me say "That's right!" Many are common sense, but as Wenger himself says, "[c]ommon sense is only common-sensical because it is sense held in common." (Wenger, 47, emphasis mine).