NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ758781
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 3
ISSN: ISSN-0010-8146
Reframing Alice's Restaurant: Reflections on Globalisation, Adult Education, and Transformative Learning
Etmanski, Catherine
Convergence, v38 n4 p27-32 2005
In the mid-1960s, the foundations of Participatory Research were being laid in Tanzania and around the world through the work of muckraking adult educators--President Julius Nyerere, Marja-Liisa Swantz, Orlando Fals Borda, Rajesh Tandon, Budd Hall and many more of their friends and colleagues. At the same time, a bunch of American kids were over in Vietnam learning how to kill and be killed in the name of freedom and democracy. In any case, legend has it that back home in the United States, two troublemaking kids were charged with illegally disposing of a big pile of garbage, and, not realising the significance of the events in Tanzania and elsewhere, they did so in a very top-down, un-participatory manner. Nevertheless, this event inspired one of them, Arlo Guthrie, to write his beloved anthem, "Alice's Restaurant." The song is about Alice, and the restaurant, but Alice's Restaurant is not the name of the restaurant, that's just the name of the song, and that's why Guthrie called the song "Alice's Restaurant." In this article, the author reflects on the true meaning of this song, in the context of globalisation, adult education, and transformative learning. Previously thinking the song was a protest song, ridiculing the ludicrousness, the ridiculousness, the foolishness of war, she realized one day that in fact, it was a song about freedom and globalisation. A few years ago, not understanding the reason behind a World Trade Organization protest in Seattle, Washington, the author decided, a year later, still having the same questions, she would go to graduate school to try to find all the answers. There, after reading Paulo Freire's "Pedagogy of the Oppressed," she contemplated whether she, herself, was an oppressor, despite her transformation and having reached a state of conscientization through praxis and dialogue. (Contains 1 note.)
National Institute of Adult Continuing Education. Renaissance House, 20 Princess Road West, Leicester, LE1 6TP, UK. Tel: +44-1162-044200; Fax: +44-1162-044262; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Tanzania; United States; Vietnam