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Open Access Identity capital, social capital and the wider benefits of learning: generating resources facilitative of social cohesion

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This paper reviews theory and research pertaining to the acquisition of identity capital and social capital, and applies it to the changing nature of learning in late-modern societies, where the ability to undertake individualized life courses is becoming an increasingly important divide in the fortunes of the young as they make their way to adulthood. The identity capital model is elaborated in terms of the importance now placed on choice-making in managing the individualization process and balancing the immediate appeal of default individualization with the long-term gains of developmental individualization. This model points toward the need to institute an 'education for choice' in curricula to enhance the wider benefits of learning for both the individual, in terms of identity capital accumulation, and for the community with respect to intergenerational social capital building.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2005

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  • Founded in 2003 by the UCL Institute of Education, the journal reflects the Institute's broad interests in all types of education in all contexts - local, national, global - and its commitment to analysis across disciplines using a variety of methodologies. It shares the Institute's aspiration to interrogate links between research, policy and practice, and its principled concern for social justice.

    Drawing on these strengths, LRE is a wide-ranging and engaging journal that features rigorous analysis and significant research across key themes in education, including: public goals and policies; pedagogy; curriculum; organization; resources and technology; and institutional effectiveness. Articles and book reviews are written by experts in education, psychology, sociology, policy studies, philosophy and other disciplines contributing to education research, and by experienced researcher-practitioners working in the field. The highest quality of reporting and presentation are ensured through an independent, anonymised peer-review process. As an entirely web-based open access journal, LRE has been able to offer innovative features and formats including: epistolary conversation; colour photos and illustrations; illustrative video clips.

    LRE welcomes relevant articles and book reviews. Please email them to [email protected]

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