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Social Competences in Vocational and Continuing Education


Antony Lindgren and Anja Heikkinen

Social competences have played a crucial role in the international search for generic, over-arching skills, key qualifications and core competences since the 1970s. By the end of 1990, social cohesion and integration had gained new momentum in this discourse because of their importance for the functioning of global market economy and industries. Moreover, the concept of social capital affects and changes the role of social competences in vocational and continuing education.
This volume presents a collection of papers which reflect and describe these changes and their political, economical and pedagogical backgrounds and implications. The topics include economisation of social competences, social competences as key qualifications for employability and entrepreneurship, social challenges in eroding welfare societies, gender and social competences, and the ideological and economical context of the social competences discourse.
The Editors: Antony Lindgren is an Associate professor and senior lecturer in sociology at Luleå University of Technology, Sweden. He lectures on political sociology, sociological theory, regional studies and the philosophy of science and is currently researching on working conditions in «the new service-jobs» and on vocational education.
Anja Heikkinen is a professor of adult education at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. Her main research areas are historical, cultural and gender aspects of education, primarily in vocational and continuing education. She has been active for years in various European projects and international networks, which promote cross-cultural collaboration in teaching and researching vocational and continuing education.