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Social capital and lifelong learning$
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John Field

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9781861346551

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861346551.001.0001

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Social connections and lifelong learning

Social connections and lifelong learning

(p.9) One Social connections and lifelong learning
Social capital and lifelong learning

John Field

Policy Press

This chapter examines the idea of both social capital and lifelong learning, and evaluates the relationship between them. It does so in the context of the notion of the learning society, along with such related ideas as the learning region, the learning city, and the learning organization. The chapter notes that what all these ideas have in common is the belief that the architecture of people's relationships with one another, and the quality of the learning they undertake, are fundamentally linked, and that the two can be harnessed to one another in a mutually beneficial manner. It provides an account of current debates over the social contexts of adult learning. Next, the chapter elaborates the concept of social capital, which has developed rapidly across the social sciences. It then analyses the ways in which social capital and adult learning might be related to one another. The chapter concludes by outlining a hypothetical taxonomy of possible relationships.

Keywords:   social capital, lifelong learning, learning society, learning region, learning city, learning organization, adult learning

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