Field J (2013) Learning through the ages? Generational inequalities and inter-generational dynamics of lifelong learning. British Journal of Educational Studies, 61 (1), pp. 109-119. https://doi.org/10.1080/00071005.2012.756172
This exploratory paper considers the concept of generation in the context of learning across the life course. Although researchers have often found considerable inequalities in participation by age, as well as strongly articulated attitudinal differences, there have so far been only a handful of studies that have explored these patterns through the perspective of generational formations. The paper is primarily conceptual, exploratory and reflective, setting out a number of approaches to the concept of generations, most of which derive largely from debates with the ghost of Karl Mannheim; it then considers how these concepts of generation have been applied to understandings of educational inequalities in recent research in Germany and the Nordic nations. It then examines the dynamics of inter-generational relations in learning, drawing on research undertaken as part of the Teaching and Learning Research Programme. The paper argues that although inter-generational dynamics are a relatively neglected dimension of Anglophone research on life chances and learning, there is a strong case for understanding their dual roles in both inequality and cohesion. It concludes by outlining some themes and areas for further investigation in the future.
generations; lifelong learning; social cohesion; karl mannheim; elders; lifecourse; transitions; inter-generational learning
British Journal of Educational Studies: Volume 61, Issue 1