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Learning Communities and Imagined Social Capital Learning to Belong by Jocey Quinn

Learning Communities and Imagined Social Capital Learning to Belong

Part of the Continuum Studies in Educational Research Series


Learning Communities and Imagined Social Capital Learning to Belong by Jocey Quinn

This volume critically explores themes of belonging, learning and community, drawing on a range of research studies conducted with adult learners in formal and informal contexts and employing interdisciplinary theory from education, feminist theory, cultural studies and human geography. Dominant but simplistic and regulatory ideas and practices of learning community in higher education and lifelong learning are critiqued. Instead, Jocey Quinn argues that learners gain most benefit from creating their own symbolic communities and networks, which help to produce imagined social capital. A rich variety of empirical data is used to explore and demonstrate how such imagined social capital works.


'Professor Quinn brings the spirit of pleasure to an intellectually expansive analysis of belonging and the material needs of the learner. In so doing, this study takes us well beyond the common place in considering the impact of lifelong learning.'
Christina Hughes, Professor of Women and Gender and Chairperson in the Department of Sociology, University of Warwick, UK

'In this important new book Jocey Quinn sets out her innovative work on imagined social capital in ways which bring alive the some 200 diverse learners who formed part of her data rich research. Through her powerful and stimulating analysis of (imagined) social capital she invites us to re-imagine educational spaces, terrains and communities, to discover the fluidity of 'belonging'. This book is a timely intervention in debates about social capital and learning communities, arguing for new ways of belonging through resistance.'
Sue Jackson, Professor of Lifelong Learning and Gender, Pro

-Vice-Master for Learning and Teaching and Director of the Birkbeck Institute for Lifelong Learning, Birkbeck, University of London, UK 'Over the course of a hundred and fifty pages, the author has crafted a piece that combines theory development with the voices of research informants, educationalists, sociologists, philosophers, poets and authors of modern literature. This is a readable book.
Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning

About the Author

Jocey Quinn is Professor of Education at the University of Plymouth, UK, and former Professor at the Institute for Policy Studies in Education at London Metropolitan University, UK. She is also Visiting Professor at the University of Exeter, UK.

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Book Info

Publication date

27th October 2011


Jocey Quinn

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Continuum Publishing Corporation


172 pages


Organization & management of education
Adult education, continuous learning



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