This book re-imagines the essence and role of adult education at both the individual and societal levels. It provides arguments for understanding adult education as a process of agency and empowerment, which has not only instrumental but intrinsic and transformative roles to play. This book brings together ideas from the capability approach with insights from recognition theory; the embeddedness approach; the political economic perspective for understanding public and private goods and the common goods perspective. The analysis draws on data from large-scale international studies – alongside qualitative data – and adopts a wide-ranging European comparative perspective. The book develops original instruments for measuring different dimensions of adult education as a common good, and its realisation in different social contexts. It is aimed at academics, students, practitioners, and policy makers interested in adult and/or higher education and the social justice perspective to human life.
“I am highly impressed with this new book by Boyadjieva and Ilieva-Trichkova. Their investigation on empowerment and adult education has been nicely executed in a rigorous way, both at the theoretical and empirical level. It combines an excellent critical account of leading sociological theories with evidence-based claims underpinned by large scale data. This book is a must-read for everyone who deeply cares about adult education and will serve as an inspiration for tomorrow’s research in the field” (Professor Ellen Boeren, University of Glasgow, UK)
“This is an outstanding contribution to the conceptualization and analysis of adult education and its significance for individuals, communities, and societies. The authors creatively combine discussion and development of theory with empirical analysis of cross-national data. The result is a book full of important insights and perspectives, really valuable to scholars and students as well as to stakeholders and practitioners in adult education” (Palle Rasmussen, Emeritus Professor, Aalborg University, Denmark)