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International Review of Education

, Volume 57, Issue 1–2, pp 39–55 | Cite as

Dancing on the deck of the Titanic? Adult education, the nation-state and new social movements

  • Carlos Alberto TorresEmail author
Article

Abstract

This article begins with a discussion of the implications of CONFINTEA VI having been organised in Brazil – the author uses the term “Brazilian effect” – and the role of social movements challenging neoliberalism. Next, drawing from the experience of Latin America, this paper analyses the counter-hegemonic practice of the new social movements. The concluding section highlights the dilemmas faced by UNESCO in trying to create a democratic and efficient process of policy-making and institutional service in adult education in the nation-states. Furthermore, the proposal of popular education portrayed by the new social movements is described as a tool for empowerment. CONFINTEA VI’s recommendation of moving from rhetoric to action in adult education programmes, practices and policies demands that we take the agendas of the new social movements in the post-neoliberalism era seriously.

Keywords

Adult education Neoliberalism Globalisation New social movements Popular education Latin America Political sociology of education 

Résumé

Danser sur le pont du Titanic ? Éducation des adultes, État-nation et nouveaux mouvements sociaux – Cet article commence par une discussion sur les implications de CONFINTEA VI organisée au Brésil – l’auteur utilise le terme « effet Brésil » – ainsi que sur le rôle des mouvements sociaux qui contestent le néolibéralisme. À partir de l’expérience de l’Amérique latine, l’auteur analyse ensuite la pratique des nouveaux mouvements sociaux qui s’oppose à toutes les formes d’hégémonie. Dans la dernière partie sont abordés les dilemmes auxquels est confrontée l’UNESCO dans ses efforts de créer au coeur des États-nations un mécanisme démocratique et efficace d’élaboration de politiques et de prestations institutionnelles en matière d’éducation des adultes. En outre, l’éducation populaire telle qu’elle est proposée par les nouveaux mouvements sociaux y est décrite comme un instrument d’autonomisation. La recommandation de CONFINTEA VI de passer de la parole aux actes dans les programmes, les pratiques et les politiques d’éducation des adultes exige que nous prenions au sérieux les concepts des nouveaux mouvements sociaux en cette ère post-néolibérale.

Zusammenfassung

Tanz auf dem Deck der Titanic? Erwachsenenbildung, Nationalstaat und neue soziale Bewegungen – Dieser Artikel beginnt mit einer Diskussion darüber, was es bedeutet, dass die CONFINTEA VI in Brasilien organisiert wurde – der Autor benutzt den Begriff „Brasilien-Effekt“ – und der Rolle der sozialen Bewegungen, die sich gegen den Neoliberalismus richten. Sodann wird, aufbauend auf den Erfahrungen Lateinamerikas, die gegenhegemoniale Praxis der neuen sozialen Bewegungen analysiert. Im Schlussteil wird darauf eingegangen, in welchen Dilemmata die UNESCO steckt, wenn sie versucht, einen demokratischen und effizienten Prozess für Politikgestaltung und institutionelle Dienstleistungen der Erwachsenenbildung in den Nationalstaaten zu initiieren. Zudem wird der von den neuen sozialen Bewegungen ausgearbeitete Vorschlag der Volksbildung als Ermächtigungsinstrument beschrieben. Die Empfehlung der CONFINTEA VI, bei den Programmen, der praktischen Umsetzung und den politischen Strategien im Bereich der Erwachsenenbildung den Worten nunmehr Taten folgen zu lassen, erfordert eine ernsthafte Beschäftigung mit den Vorstellungen der neuen sozialen Bewegungen in der postneoliberalen Ära.

Resumen

¿Bailando sobre la cubierta del Titanic? Educación de personas adultas, estado nacional y nuevos movimientos sociales – Este artículo comienza con un comentario sobre las implicaciones – que el autor denomina “efecto brasileño” – de que la CONFINTEA VI haya sido organizada en Brasil y el papel que desempeñan los movimientos sociales en su desafío al neoliberalismo. Luego, partiendo de la experiencia de América Latina, analiza la práctica contra-hegemónica de los nuevos movimientos sociales. En la parte final se realzan los dilemas encarados por la UNESCO en el intento de crear un proceso democrático y eficiente de delineación de políticas y servicio institucional en la educación para personas adultas dentro de los estados nacionales. Además, la propuesta de educación popular que presentan los nuevos movimientos sociales está descrita como herramienta de empoderamiento. La recomendación de la CONFINTEA VI, de pasar de la retórica a la acción en programas, prácticas y políticas de educación de personas adultas, exige que tomemos en serio las agendas de los nuevos movimientos sociales en la era del post-neoliberalismo. Open image in new window

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Paulo Freire InstituteUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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