Adult learning and social inequalities: Processes of equalisation or cumulative disadvantage?
Adult learning is an increasingly important form of education in globalised and aging societies. While current policy recommendations tend to focus on increasing participation rates, the authors of this article argue that higher participation rates do not necessarily lead to lower social/educational inequalities in participation. The aim of this paper is to examine the relationship between social inequalities and adult learning by exploring cross-national patterns of participation in different adult learning activities and the consequences of participation on individual labour market trajectories. The empirical basis of the paper is an analysis of 13 country studies (as well as two cross-national analyses) brought together by the international comparative research project “Education as a lifelong process – comparing educational trajectories in modern societies” (eduLIFE).
August 2015, Volume 61, Issue 4, pp 529-546