ERIC Number: EJ864693
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jul
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 50
Neoliberalism, Lifelong Learning, and the Homeplace: Problematizing the Boundaries of "Public" and "Private" to Explore Women's Learning Experiences
Gouthro, Patricia A.
Studies in Continuing Education, v31 n2 p157-172 Jul 2009
This paper develops a critical feminist theoretical analysis of the significance of the homeplace in explaining the experiences of adult women learners. It argues that current discourses in lifelong learning are shaped by neoliberal influences that emphasize individualism, competition, and connections to the marketplace. Critical educators, drawing upon a Habermasian analysis, make some valid critiques of problems with developing an educational agenda shaped by neoliberal values, but their assessment is insufficient for explaining the persistence of gender inequalities within adult education. This is because critical theory does not adequately take up other "medias" of power, such as patriarchy. A feminist lens is used to explore and complicate the perceptual divisions between the "public" and "private" spheres through an examination of three focal points in the homeplace; identity, relationships, and labour. Drawing upon a social science and humanities (SSHRC) research study that looks at women's learning trajectories in Canada, and a Canadian Council on Learning (CCL) grant on women and active citizenship, examples are brought in to support the discussion. From this analysis, recommendations are made for educators, administrators, and policy makers to challenge a neoliberal agenda in lifelong learning and develop a more holistic and gender inclusive approach that troubles commonly accepted parameters of "public" and "private" by exploring the significance of the homeplace on adult learning experiences.
Descriptors: Political Attitudes, Economic Development, Lifelong Learning, Feminism, Critical Theory, Adult Learning, Females, Equal Education, Citizenship, Sex Fairness, Gender Issues, Foreign Countries
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada