NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ759739
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 14
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 36
ISSN: ISSN-0266-0830
Belonging in a Learning Community: The Re-Imagined University and Imagined Social Capital
Quinn, Jocey
Studies in the Education of Adults, v37 n1 p4-17 Spr 2005
The notion of learning community has assumed an important position in discussions about the education of adults. The vision of a network of learning communities each producing forms of social capital is actively promoted as the key to lifelong learning. Universities are increasingly being positioned within this network. This article explores and critiques the notion of learning community and how it is deployed as an agent of regulation and incorporation. It argues that Iris Marion Young's ideal of the "unoppressive city" is more helpful in understanding how universities are being experienced and re-imagined than are other visions of learning communities. The paper draws on UK-based and international research on women and belonging in the university to explore the significance of imagined communities and to stress the importance of the university as a space of fantasy. It argues that such imagined communities produce a significant form of social capital: imagined social capital. It concludes that this process can offer mutuality without incorporation, thus recouping the notion of community further than Young's critique would allow, but providing something very different to the idea of the learning community, as it is usually espoused.
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
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom