Using Biographical and Life History Approaches in the Study of Adult and Lifelong Learning: European Perspectives
Edited By Linden West, Peter Alheit, Anders Siig Anderson and Barbara Merrill
6 Challenging Gender with Life History
Edmee Ollagnier Life history - in being considered both as an episternological position and a practice - is a way to rebuild individual histories and to give a sense of History (the use of the capital denotes this wider, more collective sense). We can relate this double effect to different types of social contacts such as collectives of workers or collectives of pe.ople involved in any voluntary activity. Here, we choose to explore this double effect through ferninisrn as a collective History. After explaining why and how ferninisrn and gender debates rnight easily be considered as pertinent spaces for narratives, we will go through the History of the Wornen' s Liberation Movernent in Geneva with six wornen who were involved in a life history process a few years ago. We will see how this approach can be considered as a learning event. We will consider the History of the rnovernent as weil as examine the effects on the individuals of the processes involved. We will also show how such a collective process has a rneaning for individual and collective identity construction. The conclusion will open the debate on the irnportance of considering such collective pro ces ses in research and for educative projects in acadernia more widely. Feminism as a Space for Narratives In this first part of the chapter, we will show how gender studies can be ciearly connected with biographies in adult education. Life history as a leaming process is helpful for participants to express the unsaid words,...
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