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Adapt or You're toast: remodelling the individual in contemporary lifelong learning
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
2007 (English)In: Nordisk Pedagogik, ISSN 0901-8050, Vol. 27, no 2, 119-129 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oslo: Universitetsforlaget , 2007. Vol. 27, no 2, 119-129 p.
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Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-2944OAI: diva2:141326
Available from: 2008-02-22 Created: 2008-02-22 Last updated: 2011-08-19Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. On lifelong learning as stories of the present
Open this publication in new window or tab >>On lifelong learning as stories of the present
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis examines the discursive construction of lifelong learning in Swedish, Australian and American policy. Lifelong learning has an aura of apparent self-evidence which this study wishes to challenge by deconstructing the normalised truths in contemporary lifelong learning policies. The thesis rests on a collection of four articles, written by the author within the framework of the PhD programme. Using foucauldian concepts of power/knowledge and governmentality, this study identifies a number of discursive stories about the present in terms of how the ideal society and its ideal citizens are envisioned. It shows that there are national differences in the usage of lifelong learning in terms of the meanings given to life, long and learning. Yet three stories also extend across the nations examined. First, learning is construed as work-related rather than a life-related. Secondly, the positive rhetoric of lifelong learning – the creation of ideal citizens – is accompanied by a parallel story of deviance, incompetence and failure. This leads to a third pervasive story of ‘medicalization’ where the deviant is pathologised as an undesirable other in need of treatment and correction by professionals who operate as the doctors and nurses of lifelong learning. Overall, the analysis suggests that as discourse, lifelong learning links the government of others and the government of the self.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Pedagogik, 2008. 68 p.
Akademiska avhandlingar vid Pedagogiska institutionen, Umeå universitet, ISSN 0281-6768 ; 84
Lifelong learning, discourse, history of the present, stories, power/knowledge, governmentality, the other, pathology, medicalisation, diskurs, berättelser, patologisering, medikalisering, livslångt lärande
National Category
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-1540 (URN)978-91-7264-436-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2008-03-14, Hörsal E, Humanisthuset, Umeå, 10:00 (English)
Available from: 2008-02-22 Created: 2008-02-12 Last updated: 2010-02-19Bibliographically approved

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