Becoming a Working-Class Male Adult Learner: Formations of Class and Gender in the Finnish Learning Society

  • Toni Kosonen
Part of the Global Masculinities book series (GLMAS)


This chapter focuses on how class and gender inform Finnish working-class men's relationships with vocational adult education and learning. Current discourses in adult education problematize working-class masculinities and portray working-class men as individuals who fail to meet the currently hegemonic societal expectations in failing to appreciate and engage in ‘lifelong learning’. The study considers how men respond to these normative expectations from their gendered and classed social positions. The data come from interviews with 32 Finnish men from working-class backgrounds who have recently participated in vocational adult education. The results bring forward three cultural forms of being a working-class man that are related to attempts to conform to, disregard and challenge societal expectations prevailing in a late modern Nordic learning society.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Toni Kosonen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Social SciencesUniversity of Eastern FinlandJoensuuFinland

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