DOI link for Reclaiming knowledge
Reclaiming knowledge book
This chapter argues that in order to reconceptualise lifelong learning, we need also to deconstruct formations of knowledge that are currently privileged within academic and policy discourses. Drawing on feminist post-structural theoretical frameworks, we will expose the hegemonic, masculinist truth-knowledge claims that permeate the current field. We argue that there is a dichotomous and hierarchical separating out of ‘knowledge’, with higher education seen as ‘more academic’ than further education and other forms of learning. This is not straightforward, however, as there are more subtle power relations and hierarchies between higher educational institutions, with institutions differentially positioned in relation to ‘knowledge’ and ‘skill’. Furthermore, legitimated knowledge is persistently constructed as neutral, objective, apolitical and value-free, while we argue that all knowledge is always tied to power, and is classed, gendered, racialised and sexualised. The lack of recognition that knowledge is socially constructed and contextualised exacerbates cultural, discursive and material inequalities, which remain embedded in lifelong learning policies and practices.