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Raising Expectations or Constructing Victims? Problems with promoting social inclusion through lifelong learning

Williams, Joanna (2011) Raising Expectations or Constructing Victims? Problems with promoting social inclusion through lifelong learning. International Journal of Lifelong Education, 30 (4). pp. 451-467. ISSN 0260-1370. (doi:10.1080/02601370.2011.588461) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:40838)

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Whilst in government, New Labour defined social exclusion as a state of ‘disadvantage’ resulting from individual psychology: namely, low aspirations, a lack of self-confidence or moral deviancy. Engagement in lifelong learning was considered a means of promoting social inclusion and of overcoming such disadvantage. This policy review explores how such a psychological approach to post-compulsory education impacts upon the more traditional educational and vocational goals of the sector. A critical discourse analysis of relevant government documents as well as interviews with key policy makers, suggests that New Labour’s policy may have had the unintended consequence of constructing psychological disadvantage amongst groups defined as socially excluded. A focus upon ameliorating the perceived psychological vulnerabilities of socially excluded groups may risk denying those targeted access to genuine educational provision or may create a culture of dependency upon formal educational institutions.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/02601370.2011.588461
Additional information: Special Issue: Lifelong learning and social justice
Subjects: L Education
Divisions: Divisions > Directorate of Education > Centre for the Study of Higher Education
Depositing User: Joanna Williams
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2014 14:55 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 10:15 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Williams, Joanna.

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