Citation Galloway S (2015) What’s missing when empowerment is a purpose for adult literacies education? Bourdieu, Gee and the problem of accounting for power. Studies in the Education of Adults, 47 (1), pp. 49-63. http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/niace/stea/2015/00000047/00000001/art00005
Abstract This writing critiques the idea that literacies education can and should empower adult learners. The ideas of Pierre Bourdieu and James Paul Gee are analysed with reference to how power and empowerment are understood and what this means for the concrete practice of adult literacies education by educators and students. Concerns are expressed that these understandings of an ‘empowering' education represent limited and limiting ways of discussing and practicing education. Whilst acknowledging that empowering literacies encompasses important aspects of education, attention might orientate away from the discourse of power towards wider understandings of an emancipatory education if students, educators and researchers are to continue to take responsibility for the purpose and repercussions of adult literacies education.
Keywords Adult literacies education; empowerment; James Paul Gee; Pierre Bourdieu; educational theory; Paulo Freire
Journal Studies in the Education of Adults: Volume 47, Issue 1