Adult learning and education in Portugal and the EU: sociological relevance, conceptual challenges, and research results
Keywords:adult learning and education, social inequalities in participation, social impacts of adult learning and education, Portugal and Europe
This article focuses on research on the participation of adult population in learning and education activities. It discusses and synthesises the main analytical perspectives, methodological approaches and research results, situating in a comparative and temporally extended perspective, the evolution that has occurred in Portugal in this field. It points to the major social inequalities associated with lifelong learning and to the complexity and multiplicity of the factors that condition or favour participation, emphasising the centrality of public policies. The article also discusses the social implications of these processes for both individuals and societies, and argues for the need to strengthen the sociological research in this domain.
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