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ERIC Number: EJ1018841
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Nov
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0741-7136
Public Pedagogy, Private Lives: Self-Help Books and Adult Learning
McLean, Scott
Adult Education Quarterly: A Journal of Research and Theory, v63 n4 p373-388 Nov 2013
Self-help literature has become an important domain of adult learning in North America. Self-help books offer readers advice on how to take charge of their lives and achieve goals such as prosperity, love, happiness, wellness, and self-actualization. Despite the popularity of self-help books, there has been little research about them from scholars of adult education. Furthermore, existing literature has tended to be speculative rather than empirical: few studies have assessed learning processes and other subjective outcomes among those who read self-help books. Through presenting results of qualitative interviews with female readers of self-help books, this article demonstrates how informal adult learning takes place through interaction with products of popular culture. The article argues that self-help reading should be included in the study of public pedagogy and that further empirical work is needed to understand the impact of reading such books, among other experiences of popular culture, on adults.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A