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Contextual Approaches in Sociology

Edited By Adela Elena Popa, Hasan Arslan, Mehmet Ali Icbay and Tomas Butvilas

Contextual Approaches in Sociology is a collection of essays on a wide range of sociological issues written by researchers from several different institutions. The volume presents applications of grounded theory, social capital, education, social rituals and gender issues. It will appeal to a wide range of academic leadership, including educators, researchers, social students and teachers, who wish to develop personally and professionally. It will also be useful to all those who interact with students and teachers in a sociological context.

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Making Knowledge Work in a Learning Community A New Role for University and Local Government

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Introduction The empirical research shown in this paper is a case study about the role played, in an Italian region, by the cooperation between a network of universities and the regional government in shifting from what was before intended as ‘adult educa- tion’ to what is now called ‘lifelong learning (LLL)’ (Jarvis, 2006). Through the project and the implementation of both research and teaching activities, the LLL Inter-University Centre has been building what’s intended to become a ‘learning community for the adult education system’ in Campania, involving citizens and academic researcher networks in a cumulative process whose task is to increase both human and social capital. The partnership with local government has invested resources from the Euro- pean Social Fund to strengthen the LLL Universities’ function of collectors and repositories of ‘knowledge, ideas, and learning’ (Florida, 1995). The main goal was to share among different ‘communities of practice’ (Wenger, 1998), learning adults, teaching staffs of different backgrounds, and policymakers, knowledge and experience to be directed to the planning and to the implementation of what was intended to become a source of social and economic innovation. The case study analyses the actions and processes through which this kind of network succeeded in redefining the adult education (AE) system in a LLL per- spective and the limits of this success. The central theme for learning regions is the necessity to underline the right to study through a ‘political approach to learning’ (Van Der Zee, 2006) and to deeply redefine AE (Selwyin,...

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