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Lifelong learning and welfare reform

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This is the second of two papers which explore the scope and limitations of lifelong learning as an object of policy. In the first (see Griffin 1999) the evolution of the social democratic perspective was described. According to this perspective, it was suggested, the attempt to render lifelong learning as an object of policy entailed a reductionist concept of learning, so that it stood for little more than the expansion of education and training provision. In the following paper, an alternative perspective on lifelong learning, also emerging from the policy literature, removes it from the possibility of traditional policy analysis, relocating it in culture, civil society and patterns of lifestyle, leisure and consumption. Analytic distinctions between education and learning, function and provision, policy and strategy, and markets and quasi-markets are employed to explore various policy models. It is suggested that this perspective on lifelong learning needs to be understood in relation to policies for welfare reform and the crisis of the welfare state. In effect, it amounts to the integration of education policy into wider policies for welfare reform.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 1999

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