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Chapter 3 moves on to a discussion of the political economy of adult education, with special reference to what the author terms the ‘radical tradition’ within it. Not surprisingly, Paulo Freire’s ideas feature strongly here,though Youngman notes that it was only with the 1978 volume Pedagogy in Process that Freire paid significant attention to ‘concepts such as the mode of production, material conditions, social relations of production, and so forth’. (p. 37). The broad conclusion is that ‘adult education provided by the state and the organisations of civil society constitutes an area in which struggles for ideological hegemony are carried out’(pp. 47–8). Chapter 4 analyses the relationship between adult education and development theory, discussing in turn different theories and their implications for the practice of adult education. For example,modernisation theory is shown to be still influential in agricultural extension programmes (p. 59) while the influence of dependency theory is shown to be mainly mediated through the agency of Freire i.e., insofar as dependency theory influenced him it influenced adult education more generally. Neoliberal theory’s influence is seen in the way in which much adult education has moved, as a is noted in a later chapter, towards ‘meeting the needs of business and industry ’( p. 156). Populist theories of development – including feminism and environmentalism – are seen to have pushed adult education towards the adoption of ‘themes of empowerment,participation and grassroots organisation’(p. 81). Chapter 5 deals with imperialism, of which ‘globalisation’ is seen as the current stage. Youngman wisely avoids,however, claiming that this simply means business as usual: globalisation, to him, ‘denotes a new period in the development of the world capitalist economy’ (p. 96) in which, for example, the powers of national states are significantly circumscribed. The role of aid within imperialist relationships is analysed at length, emphasising that ‘Foreign aid agencies are inserted in the dynamics of a particular national economy, and advance a certain set of interests within that context’ (p. 118). A country case-study of aid and adult education in Botswana proves the point, demonstrating ‘how aid significantly influenced the formulation and implementation of adult education policies’(p. 136). Chapter 6 turns to social inequality (in terms of class, gender and ethnicity/race) and adult education.Given that I teach a course in ethnicity myself, I was particularly pleased to see the author adopt a flexible and fluid conception of ethnic identity:‘the salience of ethnic differences varies by time and place, definitions of ethnic identity change, and the boundaries of ethnic groups are permeable’ (p. 149). Once again, a Botswana case-study usefully casts light on ‘the role of adult education in reproducing and resisting the social inequalities of class, gender and ethnicity’(pp. 196–7). Chapter 7 takes up themes of state and civil society. It is particularly welcome that Youngman resists fashionable depictions of civil society as an unqualified source of all things benign. Instead, to him, ‘civil society is not apart from the class structure and other social divisions; it is therefore a site of inequality and conflict’ (p. 204). For example the way in which ‘neoliberalism uses the concept [civil society] to justify its project of reducing state intervention’(p. 210) is helpfully highlighted.As with earlier 70

http://www.aontas.com/download/pdf/adult_learner_01  

http://www.aontas.com/download/pdf/adult_learner_01.pdf

http://www.aontas.com/download/pdf/adult_learner_01  

http://www.aontas.com/download/pdf/adult_learner_01.pdf

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