Community Education - A Sociological Analysis

MPhil Thesis

Baker, Robert (1984). Community Education - A Sociological Analysis . MPhil Thesis Council for National Academic Awards Department of Social Sciences, Polytechnic of the South Bank
AuthorsBaker, Robert
TypeMPhil Thesis

This study is an examination of the development of community education within the context of the wider social, political and economic framework undertaken from a theoretical perspective which can be broadly termed "humanist Marxism", It attempts to locate the emergence of community education against a background of economic crisis, which signaled the decline of the post-war Keynesian economic and social system, and which expressed itself as a crisis of hegemony. The state's response to this crisis centered around the need to re-assert the mechanisms of class control primarily through the ideology of participation and, more specifically, through the ideology of "community". The concept of hegemony occupies a critical place in this thesis. Adopting very largely the analysis developed by Gramsci, hegemony is viewed as the attempt by dominant classes to universalize their ideology as a way of securing and perpetuating their dominant position. Hegemony is, therefore, a process of class control. The crisis in class control, which became apparent in the 1960's and expressed itself as the “urban crisis", developed as a Result of the strategic weakness of the British economy - the relationship between ideology and material forces is examined in the thesis. Such a crisis, however, is seen as a crisis of hegemony and the state's response to this crisis is characterized by attempts to re-assert the hegemony of dominant classes through a participatory process whereby potentially disaffected groups are encouraged to become involved in established patterns of political and social struggle. Community education, it is argued, represents a changing pattern in educational institutions as part of a generalized ideological change in the practices of the state designed to reestablish hegemonic domination.

PublisherLondon South Bank University
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Deposited16 Nov 2023
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