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Resisting Neoliberalism in EducationLocal, National and Transnational Perspectives$
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Lyn Tett and Mary Hamilton

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781447350057

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447350057.001.0001

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The marginalisation of popular education: 50 years of Danish adult education policy

The marginalisation of popular education: 50 years of Danish adult education policy

(p.181) 12 The marginalisation of popular education: 50 years of Danish adult education policy
Resisting Neoliberalism in Education

Anne Larson

Pia Cort

Policy Press

Drawing on Biesta’s distinction between three functions of education: qualification, socialisation and subjectification, the chapter traces adult education policy in Denmark from the 1960s to the 2010s. Based on analysis of policy papers, we show how adult education policy during the past 50 years has developed from a combined focus on all three functions of education to a dominant focus on qualification from a human capital perspective, subordinating socialisation and subjectification to the idea of integration into the labour market and being employable. By shedding light on changes in adult education policies, we aim to question today’s language of economic necessity and technocratic inevitability in relation to adult education policy and to evoke a discussion about what adult education should be good for. The historical reading of Danish adult education policy, thus, serves as a resistant act by showing that adult education can be and has been thought otherwise.

Keywords:   Neoliberalism, education, higher education, universities, international, resistance, sociology of education

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