Learning Your Way into a Life of Crime (Fiction): Assessing Sisters in Crime as a Grassroots Learning Organization


  • Patricia Anne Gouthro Mount Saint Vincent University


Adult Learning, Learning Organization, Feminism


Senge’s (1990) concept of the learning organization is used to provide insights into understanding how learning can occur with grassroots organizations – organizations that emerge from the ground up. This paper draws upon three qualitative research studies to examine how Sisters in Crime (SinC) can be viewed as an example of a learning organization, dedicated to supporting women crime fiction writers and addressing issues of gender inequality. SinC provides an interesting example of a grassroots organization that has evolved to serve the needs of many of its broader membership, while attending to issues of gender and equity. When the central focus on learning is related to social justice issues, members of the organization are more likely to have a strong commitment to the same vision, leading to collaborative and creative forms of learning.

Author Biography

Patricia Anne Gouthro, Mount Saint Vincent University

Patricia Gouthro is a Professor in the Faculty of Education in the Graduate Studies in Lifelong Learning Program at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.



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How to Cite

Gouthro, P. A. (2012). Learning Your Way into a Life of Crime (Fiction): Assessing Sisters in Crime as a Grassroots Learning Organization. Canadian Journal for the Study of Adult Education, 24(2). Retrieved from https://cjsae.library.dal.ca/index.php/cjsae/article/view/454