UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Individualism in adult education : an analysis Dawson, Jane Margaret 1989

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Item Metadata

Download

Media
831-UBC_1989_A8 D38.pdf [ 4.17MB ]
Metadata
JSON: 831-1.0055842.json
JSON-LD: 831-1.0055842-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 831-1.0055842-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 831-1.0055842-rdf.json
Turtle: 831-1.0055842-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 831-1.0055842-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 831-1.0055842-source.json
Full Text
831-1.0055842-fulltext.txt
Citation
831-1.0055842.ris

Full Text

I N D I V I D U A L I S M I N ADULT E D U C A T I O N : AN A N A L Y S I S b y J A N E MARGARET DAWSON B . A . , T h e U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , 1 9 8 1 A T H E S I S SUBMITTED I N P A R T I A L F U L F I L M E N T OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE S T U D I E S A d m i n i s t r a t i v e , A d u l t a n d H i g h e r E d u c a t i o n We a c c e p t t h i s t h e s i s a s c o n f o r m i n g t o t h e r e q u i r e d s t a n d a r d THE U N I V E R S I T Y OF B R I T I S H COLUMBIA M a r c h , 1989 © J a n e M a r g a r e t D a w s o n , 1989 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of A d u l t , . A d m i n i s t r a t i v e and Higher Education The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada rw p March, 1989 DE-6 (2/88) ABSTRACT There i s a l i n e of c r i t i q u e w i t h i n the a d u l t e d u c a t i o n l i t e r a t u r e which remarks on the i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c nature of the f i e l d , i t s t h e o r i e s , v a l u e s , and p r a c t i c e s . In a d d i t i o n t o p o i n t i n g out the abundant m a n i f e s t a t i o n s of i n d i v i d u a l i s m — andragogy i s h e l d up as a t y p i c a l example — these authors a l s o m a i n t a i n t h a t i n d i v i d u a l i s m i s not so much a p a r t i c u l a r a t t r i b u t e o f a d u l t e d u c a t i o n as a r e f l e c t i o n of modern Western c u l t u r e as a whole. In l i g h t of t h i s g e n e r a l c a s t of the c r i t i q u e , the i n t e n t o f t h i s t h e s i s was t o examine the statements about i n d i v i d u a l i s m i n a d u l t e d u c a t i o n from the p e r s p e c t i v e of two contemporary p h i l o s o p h e r s , C h a r l e s T a y l o r and A l a s d a i r M a c l n t y r e , i n whose works the concept of the i n d i v i d u a l i s seen t o be a c r u c i a l f a c t o r i n the development o f modern c i v i l i z a t i o n . The q u e s t i o n was asked: "How does the a d u l t e d u c a t i o n c r i t i q u e of i n d i v i d u a l i s m measure up a g a i n s t T a y l o r ' s and M a c l n t y r e ' s views about the key c u l t u r a l and s o c i a l r o l e of the i d e a of the i n d i v i d u a l ? " The a n a l y s i s i n v o l v e d t h r e e t a s k s : f i r s t an examination of the statements about i n d i v i d u a l i s m i n the a d u l t e d u c a t i o n l i t e r a t u r e t o determine t h e i r c e n t r a l and thematic f e a t u r e s ; second, the c o n s t r u c t i o n of an a n a l y t i c framework d e r i v e d from p e r t i n e n t elements of T a y l o r ' s and M a c l n t y r e ' s work; i i t h i r d , an assessment of the adult education statements from the perspective of the views presented i n the framework. Conclusions drawn i n the analysis were that according to the views of these two philosophers, the adult education c r i t i q u e of individualism provides only a p a r t i a l p icture of the way i n the which the concept of the i n d i v i d u a l influences the workings of modern thought and s e n s i b i l i t y (taking adult education as a microcosm of wider s o c i e t a l patterns). In addition to being a shaping factor of the status quo, as the adult education c r i t i c s claim, the concept of the in d i v i d u a l i s also seen as a shaping factor of views which are most c r i t i c a l of the status quo; the same core values and b e l i e f s underlie both affirmative and c r i t i c a l stances towards individualism, and towards society. For Taylor and Maclntyre, to understand the tensions of modernity requires viewing both stances together i n terms not j u s t of t h e i r differences but also t h e i r close r e l a t i o n s h i p . Thus from t h e i r view, the adult education c r i t i q u e f a i l s to adequately account a central ingredient of modernity related to the topic of individualism. The si g n i f i c a n c e of t h i s evaluation for adult education theory and research i s that a deeper understanding i s needed of the way i n which the notion of the in d i v i d u a l i s woven into the contemporary s o c i a l f a b r i c , i n order to come to terms with "what i s r e a l l y going on" not only i n adult education but i n the wider scope of human a f f a i r s . i i i TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract. i i Table of Contents i v Acknowledgements v i I. INTRODUCTION: ADULT EDUCATION AND INDIVIDUALISM 1 A. Introduction 1 B. Approach 2 C. On Individualism 3 D. On Adult Education 5 E. Scope and Limitations 5 F. Organization of the Thesis 6 II . METHODOLOGY AND FRAMEWORK 9 A. Introduction 9 B. Choice of Literature 9 1. Sample Selection 9 2. Content Analysis 10 C. Analytic Framework 11 1. Individualism and the Individual 11 2. Sources: Taylor and Maclntyre 12 3. Relevance to Adult Education 15 4. A M u l t i d i s c i p l i n a r y Approach 16 I I I . THE CRITIQUE OF INDIVIDUALISM 17 A. Introduction 17 B. Adult Education Sources 17 1. Tennant 18 2. Keddie 22 3. G r i f f i n 26 4. Lawson 30 C. Education Sources 33 1. Hargreaves 34 2. Shor & F r e i r e 38 D. Summary 4 0 1. Individualism and Society 41 2. Individualism and the Individual 4 2 3. What's Wrong with the Individual 4 3 4. What's Wrong with Society 4 6 IV. THE ANALYTIC FRAMEWORK 49 A. Introduction 49 B. The Framework 49 C. What i s an Individual? 53 i v D. Identity: Modern and Pre-modern Views 57 1. The H i s t o r i c a l Context 57 2. The Pre-modern Identity 58 3. The Modern Identity 60 E The Modern Individual: a 'Problem C h i l d ' 66 F. Summary 73 V. THE CRITIQUE IN CONTEXT 75 A. Introduction 75 B. S i m i l a r i t i e s 75 C. The Individual and Individualism R e c o n s i d e r e d . 7 9 D. H i s t o r i c a l Perspective 83 E. The Disengaged Identity 85 F. Summary 86 VI. "SOLUTIONS" AND IMPLICATIONS 88 A. Introduction 88 B. Non-solutions 88 C. Proto-solutions 90 D. Implications for Adult Education 91 References 94 v ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Although a thesis i n the s o c i a l sciences i s f a r from poetry, when T.S. E l i o t writes, i n "East Coker", of "the int o l e r a b l e wrestle with words and meanings" there i s a common bond between the poet's and the thesis-writer's experience. And, as with other kinds of wrestling, the show doesn't go on without an entourage of others who provide support and encouragement. In my corner, I would l i k e to thank my family, the members of my committee, and my fellow students for t h e i r assistance, advice, and goodwill. Also, I would l i k e to add a special word of thanks to Penny and Andrea who have helped me to learn that the wrestle i s not about conquest but p o s s i b i l i t y . vi 1 CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION: ADULT EDUCATION AND INDIVIDUALISM A. INTRODUCTION In the a d u l t e d u c a t i o n l i t e r a t u r e , t h e r e are a number of w r i t e r s (e.g. Keddie, 1980; G r i f f i n , 1983; Rubenson, 1982; Youngman, 1986) who have remarked on the i n d i v i -d u a l i s t i c nature of the f i e l d . T h e i r remarks about i n d i v i d u a l i s m r e f e r t o a number of d i f f e r e n t dimensions of i n t e r e s t , from e d u c a t i o n a l g o a l s , t h e o r i e s , p r a c t i c e s , and modes of p r o v i s i o n , t o s o c i e t a l assumptions u n d e r l y i n g how such key n o t i o n s as " a d u l t " and " e d u c a t i o n " are understood. W i t h i n t h i s d i v e r s i t y , two themes stand out: f i r s t , t h a t a l l the p a r t i c u l a r concerns about i n d i v i d u a l i s m u l t i m a t e l y stem from the predominant tendency w i t h i n modern Western c i v i l i z a t i o n t o p r i v i l e g e i n d i v i d u a l over s o c i e t a l concerns; and second, t h a t t h i s tendency i s a p r o b l e m a t i c one, w i t h n e g a t i v e e f f e c t s not j u s t w i t h i n the f i e l d of a d u l t e d u c a t i o n but a l s o w i t h i n s o c i e t y a t l a r g e . Thus, the statements about i n d i v i d u a l i s m tend t o have a c r i t i c a l t h r u s t , and pose a c h a l l e n g e t o the p r e v a i l i n g i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c ways i n which a d u l t e d u c a t i o n i s \ c o n c e p t u a l i z e d and p r a c t i c e d . The purpose of t h i s t h e s i s i s t o examine those statements from the p e r s p e c t i v e of T a y l o r (1985a, 1985b, 1985c, 1988a, 1988b) and M a clntyre (1971, 1981), two modern 2 p h i l o s o p h e r s who e x p l o r e t h e c o n c e p t o f t h e i n d i v i d u a l w i t h i n m o d e r n s o c i e t y f r o m a b r o a d h i s t o r i c a l a n d p h i l o s o p h i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e . T h e v i e w s o f t h e s e a u t h o r s p r o v i d e a f r a m e w o r k w h e r e b y t h e a d u l t e d u c a t i o n c r i t i q u e o f i n d i v i d u a l i s m c a n b e a n a l y z e d i n t e r m s o f i t s a c u i t y a n d c o m p l e t e n e s s i n d e a l i n g w i t h t h e many c o m p l e x i t i e s w h i c h l u r k w i t h i n t h e P a n d o r a ' s b o x c a l l e d " i n d i v i d u a l i s m " . B . APPROACH T h e r e a r e many a n g l e s f r o m w h i c h s u c h a n a n a l y s i s c o u l d b e u n d e r t a k e n . I t c o u l d , f o r i n s t a n c e , i n v o l v e d e t a i l e d a n a l y t i c s c r u t i n y o f t h e s t r u c t u r e a n d c o n t e n t o f e a c h o f t h e s t a t e m e n t s r e v i e w e d . O r i t c o u l d i n v o l v e a c o u n t e r -a r g u m e n t f r o m a n o p p o s i n g p o i n t o f v i e w . I n t h e p r e s e n t i n s t a n c e , h o w e v e r , i t i n v o l v e s t h e t a s k o f a s s e s s i n g t h e d e g r e e o f r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n t w o b o d i e s o f w o r k w h i c h a r e c o n c e r n e d i n some r e s p e c t w i t h s i m i l a r i s s u e s , o n e i n l a r g e s c a l e , t h e o t h e r i n s m a l l s c a l e p e r s p e c t i v e . T h e v i e w s o f T a y l o r a n d M a c l n t y r e s e r v e a s a k i n d o f ( l a r g e s c a l e ) y a r d s t i c k a g a i n s t w h i c h t h e ( s m a l l s c a l e ) s t a t e m e n t s a b o u t i n d i v i d u a l i s m i n a d u l t e d u c a t i o n a r e m e a s u r e d . I n t a k i n g s u c h a n a p p r o a c h , c r i t i c i s m s o f o p p o s i t i o n o r s p e c i f i c d e t a i l , a l t h o u g h v a l i d o n e s no d o u b t e x i s t , f a l l o u t s i d e t h e p a r a m e t e r s o f t h e s t u d y . T h e a n a l y s i s h a s t h r e e m a i n p a r t s . T h e f i r s t i s a n a c c o u n t o f t h e m a j o r s t a t e m e n t s a b o u t i n d i v i d u a l i s m i n a d u l t 3 e d u c a t i o n , as w e l l as i n s e l e c t e d a d d i t i o n a l works from the g e n e r a l e d u c a t i o n l i t e r a t u r e . A l s o i n c l u d e d w i t h i n t h i s p a r t of the a n a l y s i s i s a summary of the common views about i n d i v i d u a l i s m among these s e v e r a l works. The second p a r t i s an a n a l y t i c framework d e r i v e d from the works of T a y l o r and M a c l n t y r e which p r o v i d e s a context wherein the statements about i n d i v i d u a l i s m i n a d u l t e d u c a t i o n can be l o c a t e d w i t h i n a broader p e r s p e c t i v e . The t h i r d p a r t i s an a n a l y s i s of the c r i t i c a l statements based on the views presented i n the a n a l y t i c framework. In o t h e r words, i n t h i s p a r t of the a n a l y s i s the q u e s t i o n i s asked, "How does the a d u l t e d u c a t i o n c r i t i q u e of i n d i v i d u a l i s m l o o k i n the eyes of T a y l o r and M a c l n t y r e ? " C. ON INDIVIDUALISM Before going f u r t h e r , some words should be s a i d on the meaning of i n d i v i d u a l i s m . I t ' s a word marked by i m p r e c i s i o n of usage (Lukes, 1973). Although d e f i n e d n e u t r a l l y i n the d i c t i o n a r y (Webster's) as "a d o c t r i n e t h a t the i n t e r e s t s of the i n d i v i d u a l are or ought t o be e t h i c a l l y paramount," a study of the term by Lukes (1973) i n d i c a t e s t h a t s i n c e i t s e a r l i e s t usage i n the l a t e 18th century i t has o f t e n tended t o c a r r y "a p e j o r a t i v e c o n n o t a t i o n , a s t r o n g s u g g e s t i o n t h a t t o c o n c e n t r a t e on the i n d i v i d u a l i s t o harm the s u p e r i o r i n t e r e s t s of s o c i e t y " (p. 7). However, i t ' s n e g a t i v e i m p l i c a t i o n s are by no means c o n s i s t e n t , as seen, f o r 4 i n s t a n c e , i n W i l d e ' s r h a p s o d i c s t a t e m e n t about ' " t r u e , b e a u t i f u l , h e a l t h y i n d i v i d u a l i s m ' " (Lukes, p. 3 5 ) . Lukes' main t h e s i s i s t h a t t h e h i s t o r y o f t h e meaning and usage o f i n d i v i d u a l i s m i s r e f l e c t i v e o f i m p o r t a n t h i s t o r i c a l developments and c e n t r a l c o n f l i c t s w i t h i n Western c i v i l i z a t i o n . I t i s a n i n e t e e n t h - c e n t u r y term w i t h deeper r o o t s i n w i d e s p r e a d changes i n t h o u g h t l e a d i n g up t o , c u l m i n a t i n g i n and f o l l o w i n g from t h e E n l i g h t e n m e n t . C e n t r a l t o t h e s e changes i s a new i d e a l o f human r e a s o n , a l s o c e n t r a l a r e t h e c o r e v a l u e s o f d i g n i t y , autonomy, p r i v a c y and s e l f - d e v e l o p m e n t . " I n d i v i d u a l i s m " has been used b o t h i n condemnation and i n s u p p o r t o f t h e s e changes — on t h e one hand, as a r a l l y i n g c r y b e h i n d ( f o r example) t h e S a i n t - S i m o n i a n " c r i t i q u e o f t h e E n l i g h t e n m e n t ' s g l o r i f i c a t i o n o f t h e i n d i v i d u a l " (Lukes, p. 6 ) , and on t h e o t h e r hand e x e m p l i f i e d by a Whitmanesque c e l e b r a t i o n o f " t h e p r o g r e s s i v e f o r c e o f modern h i s t o r y — t h e s i n g l e n e s s o f man, i n d i v i d u a l i s m — r e c o n c i l i n g l i b e r t y and s o c i a l j u s t i c e " (Lukes, p . 3 0 ) . The e q u i v o c a l usage o f t h e term i n d i v i d u a l i s m i s a r e f l e c t i o n , Lukes a r g u e s , o f c o r e a m b i g u i t i e s w i t h i n E n l i g h t e n m e n t t h o u g h t and c u l t u r e and much t h a t has been i n h e r i t e d from i t (see a l s o M i s g e l d , 1985; M a c l n t y r e , 1981). These a m b i g u i t i e s a r e t h e m s e l v e s c e n t r a l t o t h e q u e s t i o n s which t h e t o p i c o f i n d i v i d u a l i s m r a i s e s . 5 D. ON ADULT EDUCATION Another point which requires preliminary c l a r i f i c a t i o n i s the meaning of the term "adult education". One d e f i n i t i o n put forward, with the proviso that "no un i v e r s a l l y acceptable d e f i n i t i o n i s possible" (Darkenwald & Merriam, 1982, p. 8), i s that "adult education i s a process whereby persons whose major s o c i a l roles are c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of adult status undertake systematic and sustained learning a c t i v i t i e s f or the purpose of bringing about changes i n knowledge, attitudes, values, or s k i l l s " (Darkenwald & Merriam, 1982, p. 9). The intention behind t h i s d e f i n i t i o n i s to avoid narrowly equating education and schooling. (It does not avoid reductionism between education and learning, which i s one of the i d e n t i f i e d manifestations of individualism). However, the tendency remains firmly entrenched, at lea s t among North American and B r i t i s h adult educators, to associate adult education with (primarily educational) i n s t i t u t i o n s . Consequently, the focus of c r i t i q u e by the authors reviewed i n the following pages i s on adult education i n the context of the formal education system. E. SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS The topic of individualism i n adult education scratches the surface of some very large issues which extend f a r beyond the scope of t h i s enquiry. Questions about, for instance, the nature of ind i v i d u a l i d e n t i t y , the 6 r e l a t i o n s h i p between the ind i v i d u a l and society, and the rol e of education are perennial; the feat of answering — or even adequately asking — them i s by no means accomplished here. What i s attempted i s to open them up for fresh questioning, to have a look at them from a d i f f e r e n t perspective. The objection could be made that the approach adopted here i s far too wide; that to take such a broad view i s to homogenize the issues of the day rather than to bring them into any sort of focus. Admittedly, notions such as modernity and i t s contrast, pre-modernity, which appear i n the a n a l y t i c framework, run the r i s k of making a f a l s e unity out of cultures, n a t i o n a l i t i e s , philosophies, which are very d i f f e r e n t . However, a central premise of t h i s study i s that, valuable as such differences are, underlying them are unifying c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s peculiar to the modern age, the extent and influence of which can only be seen i n (inevitably sweeping) h i s t o r i c contrast. F. ORGANIZATION OF THE THESIS The aim of the present chapter has been to provide a general orientation to the concerns prompting the study, and the central questions addressed. Here i s a synopsis of the chapters to follow: 7 Chapter Two provides an overview of the methodology and framework, in d i c a t i n g the adult education sources consulted, and the perspectives used to develop the an a l y t i c framework. Chapter Three i s a review of the c r i t i c a l statements about individualism i n the adult education l i t e r a t u r e and i n selected works from the general education l i t e r a t u r e . I t consists of a discussion of each of the sources, followed by a summary of the thematic points of c r i t i q u e common to a l l of them. Chapter Four i s a presentation of the an a l y t i c framework. I t discusses the views of philosophers Taylor and Maclntyre concerning the nature and problematic features of the notion of ind i v i d u a l i d e n t i t y associated with modern Western c i v i l i z a t i o n . Chapter Five consists of an analysis of the c r i t i q u e of individualism i n adult education, i n l i g h t of the framework derived from Taylor and Maclntyre. The central points of s i m i l a r i t y and contrast between the c r i t i q u e and the framework are discussed, and an assessment i s made of how the adult education c r i t i q u e looks from Taylor's and Maclntyre's point of view. Chapter Six i s a concluding discussion about the sig n i f i c a n c e of the analysis, and i t s implications for adult 8 education theory and research i n terms of present conditions and possible future d i r e c t i o n s . 9 CHAPTER TWO METHODOLOGY AND FRAMEWORK A. INTRODUCTION This chapter provides an overview of the sources examined i n t h i s study. Moreover, i t explains what the l i t e r a t u r e consists of and why these p a r t i c u l a r works were selected. "The l i t e r a t u r e " has two components: f i r s t , the education l i t e r a t u r e about individualism, and second, the works by Taylor and Maclntyre which comprise the a n a l y t i c framework. B. CHOICE OF LITERATURE In choosing the adult education l i t e r a t u r e , the f i r s t step was to review an array of works for statements on the topic of individualism. Sources of material for consideration included graduate programme texts and handouts, recent North American and international conference proceedings, journal a r t i c l e s , and di s s e r t a t i o n s . 1. Sample Selection Statements about individualism within t h i s l i t e r a t u r e were infrequent, and many of the references that were made to the term were casual and unelaborated (e.g., Rubenson, 1982; Youngman, 1986; Frei r e , 1970). However, despite t h i s lack of sustained attention to the topic, a few notable works were found which attended to i t i n some d e t a i l , and 10 which provided the basis of t h i s analysis. S p e c i f i c a l l y , works by Tennant (1986), Keddie (1980), G r i f f i n (1983), and Lawson (1985) were considered. Add i t i o n a l l y , some statements about individualism within pre-adult education were also considered, i n view of the observation (Keddie, 1980; G r i f f i n , 1983) that the i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c nature of adult education makes i t more l i k e the rest of the education system than unlike i t . In p a r t i c u l a r , statements about individualism by Hargreaves (1980) and Shor & Fr e i r e (1987) were included, the former because i t i s one of the few works which s p e c i f i c a l l y addresses individualism as a focal topic, and the l a t t e r because i t i s a work that i s known and often c i t e d within adult education. As the intention of t h i s study was to examine statements about individualism i n t h e i r c r i t i c a l aspect, no strong defenders of the the i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c view were considered. This i s not because no such defenders e x i s t (see Paterson, 1979); rather, that they f a l l beyond the scope of the present analysis. 2. Content Analysis In reviewing the content of the selected l i t e r a t u r e , there were three central questions guiding the examination: 11 a. What aspects of adult education (or education generally) are considered i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c ? b. What c r i t i c i s m s are made about these i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c features? c. What are the differences and s i m i l a r i t i e s among these c r i t i c i s m s , i . e . , how do the c r i t i q u e s of individualism vary, and, more importantly, what i s common among them? C. ANALYTIC FRAMEWORK 1. Individualism and the Individual The complex semantic history of individualism i s not simply a r e f l e c t i o n of the vagaries of language or the lax habits of language users. The changing meanings of words often r e f l e c t changes i n c u l t u r a l values on many l e v e l s . In the case of individualism, a central issue underlying i t s divergent meanings and usage i s the changing view of the i n d i v i d u a l within society. As Lukes (1973) has noted, individualism i s a modern term r e f e r r i n g to a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y modern Western understanding of the i n d i v i d u a l and of society. P a r t i c u l a r l y since the seventeenth-century, the i n d i v i d u a l has gained a s p e c i a l status within society, which underlies many of the s i g n i f i c a n t changes i n recent centuries — including such diverse developments as the i n d u s t r i a l revolution, the s e c u l a r i z a t i o n of society, and the b i r t h of the novel. Some view such changes as a l i b e r a t i o n of the human s p i r i t ; 12 others view them as a grave loss of s o c i e t a l i n t e g r i t y . Where one stands on t h i s issue greatly influences one's assumptions and one's ideals about ind i v i d u a l s , society, and, within that, what the r o l e of education i s or ought to be. Thus, one way to provide a context i n which to explore the question of individualism i n adult education i s through an exploration of the development of the notion of the i n d i v i d u a l with which i t i s so c l o s e l y linked. I t i s from t h i s perspective that the an a l y t i c framework of t h i s study was developed. Although such an approach may appear to be simply putting the case of individualism more emphatically rather than locating i t within a more s o c i o l o g i c a l l y informed perspective, the intention i s otherwise. B e l i e f s about i n d i v i d u a l i d e n t i t y are themselves s o c i a l l y formed. I t i s the nature of these b e l i e f s , t h e i r source, t h e i r influence, rather than the i n d i v i d u a l as a d e f i n i t i v e e n t i t y , which i s the focus of enquiry. 2. Sources: Taylor and Maclntyre Two contemporary philosophers whose works inform t h i s perspective are Taylor (1985a, 1985b, 1985c, 1988a, 1988b) and Maclntyre (1971, 1981). Taylor's work, although i t encompasses a wide range of apparently divergent topics, from d i s t r i b u t i v e j u s t i c e (1985a) to theories of language (1985c), i s centered around a consistent underlying theme: 13 the interconnectedness between the d i s t i n c t i v e features of modernity and the notion of in d i v i d u a l i d e n t i t y . The c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the modern age, i t s achievements and i t s dilemmas, he c e n t r a l l y relates to the growth of the notion of the single and autonomous i n d i v i d u a l . Maclntyre, although from a d i f f e r e n t angle, — considering what he sees as fundamental problems i n modern moral philosophy — adopts a s i m i l a r stance. Both see the major philosophical, t h e o r e t i c a l , and s o c i e t a l issues of modern times to be i n e x t r i c a b l y bound up with the modern understanding of what i t means to be an i n d i v i d u a l . Both authors maintain that some of the great achievements of modernity — personal r i g h t s , equality, r a t i o n a l i t y , freedom — have not been achieved without costs. For Taylor these include such diverse i l l s as economic patterns of l i m i t l e s s growth, environmental expl o i t a t i o n , and the tyranny of the natural sciences i n the conceptualization of knowledge within the academic community. For Maclntyre they include widespread conceptual disarray i n moral philosophy and society at large. For both, these problems are r e f l e c t e d and entrenched — not only, but primarily — within the modern notion of i n d i v i d u a l i d e n t i t y ; an essential step i n coming to grips with them i s to explore more thoroughly the r e l a t i o n s h i p between i d e n t i t y and society, i t s underlying influence on our personal and s o c i e t a l dreams and dilemmas. 14 These views of course do not go uncontested; one c r i t i c i s m could be made that i n addition to being too generalized they are also too limited, they c r e d i t i n d i v i d u a l i d e n t i t y with too causal a ro l e , and minimally account for changes i n s o c i a l structure of which the concept of i n d i v i d u a l i d e n t i t y may merely be an e f f e c t . However, t h i s s k i r t s too c l o s e l y a chicken-and-egg argument at which both authors would balk. Although t h e i r understanding of modernity has e s s e n t i a l l y to do with the i n d i v i d u a l , t h i s i s not to put the in d i v i d u a l i n front, running the show. The re l a t i o n s h i p between i d e n t i t y and society i s seen as i n e x t r i c a b l y connected, regardless of one's focus on the b e l i e f s about the former or the structures of the l a t t e r . There are two main reasons for using the works of these authors as a basis for t h i s analysis. F i r s t , the h i s t o r i c a l perspective used by both authors to contrast the modern view of the i n d i v i d u a l with pre-modern views brings to l i g h t some assumptions which are not so c l e a r l y v i s i b l e i n observations from a modern perspective alone. Ch a r a c t e r i s t i c s show up i n the contrast which are generally taken for granted. The modern notion of singular and autonomous i n d i v i d u a l i d e n t i t y i s seen to be only one model of id e n t i t y , quite d i f f e r e n t from e a r l i e r and other models where i d e n t i t y i s a matter more of a f f i l i a t i o n (my lineage, community) than difference (the " r e a l me"). 15 Second, t h e i r views provide a broad context wherein expressions of individualism and c r i t i q u e s of individualism can be seen together as j o i n t aspects of the growth of modernity, rather than as separate and antagonistic points of view. From t h i s perspective the presence of core values and b e l i e f s which underlie both affirmative and c r i t i c a l a ttitudes towards individualism equally are brought to l i g h t . 3. Relevance to Adult Education On the surface, there i s no e x p l i c i t connection between the works of these two philosophers and the adult education l i t e r a t u r e . Their names appear ra r e l y within the pages of adult education scholarship; adult education i s mentioned not at a l l within the pages of t h e i r own work. Nevertheless, a central premise of t h i s study i s that an i m p l i c i t connection ex i s t s , and an important one. Philosophical questions which frame the adult education enterprise, whether or not they are a r t i c u l a t e d , fundamentally include: "what i s an adult?" "what i s education?" Equally fundamentally, these questions are concerned with b e l i e f s about i d e n t i t y , b e l i e f s about how the i n s t i t u t i o n s of society are formed, how they operate. Taylor and Maclntyre provide a perspective which makes some provocative assertions about the rel a t i o n s h i p between 16 i d e n t i t y and the structures of society c h a r a c t e r i s t i c — and maybe problematic — of modern c i v i l i z a t i o n . These views, among others, are relevant to adult education as a microcosm of the society of which i t i s part. 4. A M u l t i d i s c i p l i n a r y Approach In drawing the contrast between the pre-modern and modern world, between pre-modern and modern versions of i d e n t i t y , both authors draw from a number of d i f f e r e n t d i s c i p l i n e s , from a broad h i s t o r i c a l scope. The d i s c i p l i n e s of philosophy, l i t e r a t u r e , history, theology and to a lesser extent sociology and psychology, are some of the sources from which they draw. While t h i s makes i t a challenge to locate them within a p a r t i c u l a r i n t e l l e c t u a l t r a d i t i o n , and provides rather a dizzying chase across a wide academic f i e l d to keep up, there i s an important point underlying t h i s apparent "grab-bag" e f f e c t . L i f e and thought have a way of not keeping inside the l i n e s . Both authors maintain that day-to-day practice and academic theorizing are of a piece, sharing the same concerns, struggling with the common pursuit of t r y i n g to make sense of things. In t h i s l i g h t , the separate d i s c i p l i n a r y parcels into which i n t e l l e c t u a l t r a d i t i o n s are too often i s o l a t e d are not so separate — from each other or from the s o c i a l world i n which they e x i s t — a f t e r a l l , and ought to be seen together i n the i n t e r e s t of getting on with the struggle. 17 CHAPTER THREE THE CRITIQUE OF INDIVIDUALISM A. INTRODUCTION In t h i s chapter, selected statements about individualism i n the adult education and pre-adult education l i t e r a t u r e are reviewed. This i s done i n two parts: f i r s t , each of the sources i s reviewed separately, i n terms of i t s main views and points of c r i t i q u e ; second, a synthesis i s made of these works i n r e l a t i o n to each other, i n d i c a t i n g some of t h e i r differences as well as discussing four thematic features found to be common among them. The tone of the present chapter i s synoptic rather than evaluative, since the analysis of these statements i s to be taken up i n a l a t e r chapter. B. ADULT EDUCATION SOURCES A f i r s t observation about the c r i t i q u e of individualism i n adult education i s that i t i s not an abundantly documented to p i c ; the l i t e r a t u r e i s sparse. However, t h i s s i t u a t i o n i s to be expected. I f , as i s the claim, the nature of adult education i s i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c , i t i s not l i k e l y to be l a b e l l e d as such by i t s proponents, given the c r i t i c a l implications often associated with the term. Of the works which do r e f e r to individualism, i t i s often the case that the term i s used more as a slogan than 18 as a topic discussed i n depth (e.g. Chene, 1983; Law, 1982; Fr e i r e , 1970; Rubenson, 1982). This l i t e r a t u r e i s l a r g e l y oriented within a c r i t i c a l pedagogical t r a d i t i o n which associates individualism with other "isms" of the Western world, such as l i b e r a l i s m , capitalism, consumerism. Typical i s a marxist c r i t i q u e of adult education by Youngman (1986), which mentions individualism as the "pr e v a i l i n g ethos" (p. 67) of c a p i t a l i s t society but takes the discussion of individualism no further than t h i s . Rather than exploring individualism more deeply, t h i s l i t e r a t u r e takes the alt e r n a t i v e tack of looking at education from a more broadly s o c i e t a l perspective. Nonetheless, a small selection of works does e x i s t i n which the topi c of individualism has been pursued at greater depth, i n which s p e c i f i c c r i t i q u e s of individualism i n adult education have been made. These works w i l l be discussed i n d i v i d u a l l y below. Despite t h e i r scant number, they provide a representative spectrum of views on current issues within the f i e l d , whether "individualism" i s s p e c i f i c a l l y at issue or (as i s more often the case) not. 1. Tennant One c r i t i q u e of individualism i n adult education has been made by Tennant (1986), i n an evaluation of the notion of andragogy popularized by Knowles. Andragogy, described by Tennant as a "theory of adult learning" (p. 113), enjoys 19 wide appeal among adult educators. Despite some strong c r i t i c i s m of i t s fundamental assumptions ( G r i f f i n , 1983; Hartree, 1984), i t s general "popularity remains undiminished" (p. 113). Tennant, drawing p a r t i a l l y on Lukes (1973), maintains that "Knowles' theory of andragogy contains within i t the core ideas of the ethic of individualism" (p. 120). This ethic i s one which "places the i n d i v i d u a l at the centre of a value system which relegates the 'group' to second place" (p. 120). Its core ideas include: "the dignity of the person, autonomy and s e l f - d i r e c t i o n , and self-development" (p. 120). These aspects of individualism, for Tennant, "underlie the value system i m p l i c i t i n Knowles' theory" (p. 120) . An obvious reason why Tennant c a l l s andragogy i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c i s i t s central concern with c e r t a i n widely held views about the i n d i v i d u a l . These are l a r g e l y derived from the humanistic and e x i s t e n t i a l i s t philosophy and psychology of Rogers and Maslow. For these t h e o r i s t s , a l l human beings have a need to become more autonomous, more "authentic" and " s e l f - a c t u a l i z e d " as we grow up and grow older. S e l f - a c t u a l i z a t i o n , " i s something, we are t o l d , towards which we are propelled. This tendency i s . . . a constituent part of our physiological endowment; i t i s 20 something which characterizes us as uniquely human" (Tennant, 1986, p. 113-4). The p r i n c i p l e s of andragogy d i r e c t l y r e l a t e t h i s view of i n d i v i d u a l development to adult learning. Its practices "are designed . . . so that the learning processes of adults are congruent with t h e i r need for psychological growth" (Tennant, 1986, p. 114). Tennant observes that an e f f e c t of andragogy's indebtedness to the psychological theory of Rogers and Maslow i s a psychotherapeutic orientation towards teaching prac t i c e . The teacher i s viewed as a f a c i l i t a t o r i n the learning process and strong emphasis i s placed on est a b l i s h i n g t r u s t and "goodwill" between teacher and learner. The primary task of a f a c i l i t a t o r i s to value the personal worth, and respect the ideas and feelings of each in d i v i d u a l learner (p. 118-9) . A related observation i s that from an andragogical perspective adult learning i s viewed primarily i n terms of process, rather than content. Content i s given a d i s t i n c t l y lower p r i o r i t y ; the most important aspect of learning (hence, for Knowles, education), i s the psychological growth and well-being of the i n d i v i d u a l learner. Tennant's objections to the individualism of andragogy are numerous. F i r s t , he takes the point from Keddie (1980) (whose work w i l l be taken up further below) that the view of 21 the i n d i v i d u a l i m p l i c i t within andragogy r e f l e c t s a middle-class bias and "reproduces middle-class values and s t y l e s " (p. 120) which are not s o c i e t a l l y balanced or j u s t . Also, andragogical teaching practices "can serve to h i g h l i g h t the gap between the rhetoric of individualism and the r e a l i t y of s o c i a l control and conformity" (p. 121). The realignment of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and control from educator to learner can be as " r e s t r i c t i v e and a l i e n a t i n g " (p. 115) as more c l e a r l y authoritarian teaching practices, and much more confusing than when the balance of power i s more overtly i n the educator's hands. Tennant's further c r i t i q u e of individualism points out an ambiguity concerning what the fundamental at t r i b u t e s of human beings are or ought to be. In some instances, " s e l f -d i r e c t i o n " i s deemed a defining c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of adulthood; i n others, i t i s a state to be achieved, which andragogical techniques must foster. In other words, i t i s not at a l l c l e a r whether s e l f - d i r e c t i o n i s an a b i l i t y or a need. As Tennant states, "Knowles i s elusive on t h i s point" (p. 114), and the reason for such elusiveness, he concludes, i s that Knowles i s dealing only i n ideals rather than r e a l i t y . The picture of the i n d i v i d u a l portrayed by andragogy i s as mythical as the unicorn. What Tennant claims i s needed i s to abandon some of the myths about adult learning which have general currency and which Knowles supports: the myth that our need for s e l f - d i r e c t i o n i s rooted i n our c o n s t i t u t i o n a l make-up; the myth that self-development 22 i s a process of change toward higher l e v e l s of existence; and the myth that adult learning i s fundamentally (and necessarily) d i f f e r e n t from c h i l d learning, (p. 121) Tennant's c r i t i q u e of the i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c nature of andragogical theory raises some pertinent questions about assumptions about the i n d i v i d u a l which are widely accepted within adult education. However, the scope of h i s c r i t i c a l observations do not extend beyond matters of educational technique and educator-learner r e l a t i o n s h i p s . Broader s o c i e t a l , p o l i t i c a l , and philosophical questions about adult education's "ethic of individualism" are not addressed. 2. Keddie A more i n c i s i v e c r i t i q u e has been made by Keddie (1980), i n an analysis which, according to one commentator, provides "one of the most s i g n i f i c a n t insights into the i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c impulse i n adult education" (Law, 1982, p. 1 7 ) . There are two main thrusts of Keddie's t h e s i s . F i r s t , despite r h e t o r i c a l claims to the contrary, adult education's "ideology of individualism" makes i t "more l i k e the rest of the education system than unlike i t , [in] both i t s curriculum and i t s pedagogy" (p. 45). Second, "the i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c ideology of adult education functions to obscure the contradictions inherent i n the adult educator's r o l e " (p. 45). 23 The aspects of adult education which Keddie finds i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c are the same ones which make a notion such as andragogy so appealing. They include the widespread emphasis on meeting in d i v i d u a l needs as a primary pedagogical objective, as well as the related "emphasis on student-centredness and the development of the whole person" (p. 47) as chief pedagogical p r i n c i p l e s . These concerns, plus the additional oft-stated claim that "the education of adults requires d i s t i n c t i v e teaching s k i l l s " (p. 45) because of the d i s t i n c t i v e psychological c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of adulthood, are what supposedly make adult education unique and s p e c i a l , and d i s t i n c t from the rest of the education system. Keddie takes exception to t h i s claim to dis t i n c t i v e n e s s . In her view, such a claim i s a way of j u s t i f y i n g adult education's marginality and lack of status within the rest of the education system. Further, she notes a strong s i m i l a r i t y between adult education and primary education, which also occupies a low status p o s i t i o n i n the formal education system and prides i t s e l f on the dis t i n c t i v e n e s s of i t s student-centred approach. However, the only difference that Keddie sees i s that instead of focusing on ind i v i d u a l achievement as i n "the high-status e l i t i s t t r a d i t i o n of higher education and the academic streams of secondary schools" (p. 49), the focus i s transferred to ind i v i d u a l need. The e f f e c t i s not to 24 d i f f e r e n t i a t e adult or primary education from the i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c formal system, but to include them as low-status kin. In Keddie's view, there are many adverse consequences of individualism throughout the education system, regardless of age group primary or adult, regardless of status high or low. F i r s t of a l l , i t fosters a middle-class bias i n terms of how human nature i s understood. The "notion of i n d i v i d u a l i t y as a desirable personality goal i s not universal, but tends to be found i n those cultures where high status i s obtained by competitive i n d i v i d u a l achievement" (p. 54). Second, she notes that there are ce r t a i n r e s t r i c t i o n s influencing how i n d i v i d u a l i t y ought properly to be expressed; i r o n i c a l l y , "individualism tends to produce uniformity rather than d i v e r s i t y " (p. 46). In addition, the needs-meeting, person-centred orien t a t i o n of much adult education ideology leads to a market-oriented manner of provision for the middle-class and a treatment-oriented approach towards less p r i v i l e g e d classes. To meet the needs of the middle-class, adult education courses are marketed, c a f e t e r i a - s t y l e , and curriculum development follows the whims and tastes of popular consumer demand. However, to meet the needs of the educationally disadvantaged, adult education i s provided as a treatment of ind i v i d u a l deficiency (e.g. ABE) rather than 25 a matter of ind i v i d u a l choice. In the l a t t e r case, the "problems presented by individuals [are separated] from the s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l order which creates these problems" (p. 57). The conditions which promote i n d i v i d u a l achievement create the obverse " i n d i v i d u a l i z a t i o n of f a i l u r e " (p. 57). Thus, i n adult education as i n other dimensions of the education system, the "concepts of in d i v i d u a l need and student-centredness are used to legitimate an i d e o l o g i c a l commitment . . . to the status quo" (p. 62) — a status quo, i n Keddie's view, rid d l e d with class bias, i n e q u a l i t i e s and imbalances. Keddie goes on to point out that i n theorizing about education, as i n practice, a further problem with individualism i s the manner i n which in d i v i d u a l i d e n t i t y i t conceived. The ind i v i d u a l i s abstracted from s o c i a l and h i s t o r i c a l context and understood as an autonomous monadic en t i t y . Not only i s t h i s understanding c u l t u r a l l y s p e c i f i c , as mentioned e a r l i e r , and therefore not as universal as i t i s made out to be, i t i s also f a l s e . I t masks the true manner i n which i d e n t i t y i s s o c i a l l y constituted and embedded i n the language, practices, p o l i t i c s , of human communities. This masking i s , i n i t s e l f , p o l i t i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t , since i t serves the status quo to safeguard the powerful and to keep the powerless i s o l a t e d and unaware. 2 6 To change t h i s s i t u a t i o n , i n Keddie's opinion, would require further e f f o r t s to r a d i c a l i z e the nature of the adult education enterprise, beginning with c r i t i q u e s , such as her own, which "examine i t s practices c r i t i c a l l y " (p. 63). Her views have been associated with the "new" sociology of education (Law, 1982), whose authors (e.g. Apple, 1980; Young, 1971) hold that education t y p i c a l l y has a reproductive rather than transformative function within the s o c i a l system, and thus unwittingly perpetuates s o c i e t a l problems which i t i s supposedly working to ameliorate. However, through r a d i c a l approaches to education, the po t e n t i a l for s o c i e t a l transformation e x i s t s . "The issue i s not whether individuals have needs nor whether they should be met but how those needs are s o c i a l l y and p o l i t i c a l l y constituted and understood, how they are a r t i c u l a t e d and whose voice i s heard" (Keddie, p. 63). The s t a r t i n g place for r a d i c a l i z a t i o n i s c r i t i q u e , c r i t i q u e of the forms and influences of individualism being f i r s t and foremost. 3. G r i f f i n Like Keddie's, G r i f f i n ' s (1983) c r i t i q u e of the "ideology of individualism" focuses primarily on the i n s t i t u t i o n a l provision of adult education within the B r i t i s h education system. However, the orien t a t i o n of h i s work i s more broadly t h e o r e t i c a l than Keddie's, within a broader scope of educational alternatives. G r i f f i n ' s focus i s not on individualism per se but on curriculum theory i n adult and l i f e l o n g education; h i s discussion of individualism i s not prolonged, but i t i s central to h i s t h e s i s . In G r i f f i n ' s analysis, "mainstream" ( i . e . i n s t i t u t i o n a l ) forms of adult and l i f e l o n g education are i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c on three dimensions. On a philosophical dimension, adult education "turns out to be concerned pr i m a r i l y with the self-development of the i n d i v i d u a l , a p r e s c r i p t i o n heavily reinforced by the s c i e n t i f i c contribution of psychological learning theory, which i s i t s e l f so much concerned with concepts of the s e l f " (p. 92) This concern i s expressed i n the predominance of what G r i f f i n c a l l s "adult c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s " approaches to adult education theory, which are "based on the attempt to e s t a b l i s h a view of adult education as a d i s t i n c t i v e category by v i r t u e of philosophical, psychological, or organisational c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of adulthood" (p. 47). Andragogy i s a t y p i c a l example, i n i t s view of adulthood "a e s s e n t i a l l y a category of i n d i v i d u a l development" (p. 54) and i t s reduction of the " s o c i a l functions of adult education . . . to the sum of the purposes of i n d i v i d u a l learners" (p. 60). This approach to theory i s , for G r i f f i n very short-sighted, and f a i l s to adequately account for the r o l e of c u l t u r a l and s o c i a l forces such as ideology, and power i n shaping pedagogy and curriculum. Further, G r i f f i n echoes Keddie i n c a l l i n g adult education's claims to 28 d i s t i n c t i v e n e s s erroneous. Rhetoric to the contrary, "adult education reproduces, rather than transforms the categories of schooling" (p. 202) . On an administrative dimension, individualism i s r e f l e c t e d i n the emphasis on needs, access, and provision i n the way i n which adult education i s organized, without attending to how these things are s o c i a l l y and p o l i t i c a l l y constituted. Accordingly, "curriculum development i n adult education becomes synonymous with the process of ascertaining need" (p. 79) driven by a market-oriented model of commodity consumption. G r i f f i n ' s c r i t i c i s m i s that although a needs-meeting organizational approach may be the most economically and i n s t i t u t i o n a l l y convenient, there are deleterious consequences. Curriculum content i s impoverished, and the s o c i a l forces which cause needs and delimit access and provision are not addressed or dealt with. The t h i r d dimension on which adult education i s i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c i s that of practice. Regarding methods, he claims that "the dominant methodological paradigm of the 'adult learning c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s ' approach seems to be one of extreme individualism" (p. 60). Educational objectives focus on i n d i v i d u a l outcomes, and educational techniques focus primarily on the learning processes of i n d i v i d u a l s , 29 with l i t t l e reference to c u l t u r a l determinants and s o c i a l consequences of learning. What "brings philosophy, administration and practice into r e l a t i o n " (p. 92), for G r i f f i n , i s an overriding "ideology of individualism" which a f f e c t s the enti r e education system, and which arises from the p a r t i c u l a r c u l t u r a l conditions i n which education i s located. "In Western i n d u s t r i a l i s e d s o c i e t i e s individualism has a c u l t u r a l d i s t i n c t i v e n e s s " (p. 93). I t i s t h i s ideology which underlies the p r e v a i l i n g reductionism within adult education between education and schooling on the one hand, and education and learning on the other. From G r i f f i n ' s view, adult education l a r g e l y reproduces rather than transforms the forces of individualism and tends thus "to defeat the larger claims sometimes made for i t s s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l p o t e n t i a l " (p. 204). In order for t h i s p o t e n t i a l to be re a l i z e d , what i s needed i s for the emphasis i n adult education curriculum development to be s h i f t e d from i t s organization around matters of "technique, methodology and administration . . . [to] be organised around the problems of redefining, r e d i s t r i b u t i n g and reevaluating knowledge i n s o c i a l , c u l t u r a l and p o l i t i c a l conditions" (p. 203). To t h i s end, G r i f f i n argues, i n the same vein as Keddie, that a wider s o c i o l o g i c a l perspective against a background of more r a d i c a l c r i t i q u e i s required i n order for 30 adult education to be more adequately conceptualised and l e s s anachronistically practiced. 4. Lawson Lawson's (1985) analysis of individualism begins with the statement that "a philosophy of individualism runs through l i b e r a l adult education" (p. 219), expressed i n such educational goals as self-development and "the idea of developing 'autonomous man'" (p. 219). He goes on to remark that c r i t i q u e s of individualism, such as those of G r i f f i n and Keddie, "must be taken seriously as a challenge at the t h e o r e t i c a l l e v e l " (p. 219). For Lawson, alone among those i n adult education who take up the question of individualism, t h i s requires a h i s t o r i c a l and philosophical analysis of the changing view of the i n d i v i d u a l exhibited by h i s t o r i c a l changes i n p o l i t i c s and thought. Lawson's s p e c i f i c concern i s with " l i b e r a l " adult education (although he makes no mention of what s p e c i f i c modes of adult education t h i s means), and he states that there has been a movement away from older " u t i l i t a r i a n " forms of l i b e r a l adult education "towards a 'deontological' type of l i b e r a l i s m which i s highly i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c i n character" (p. 219). The s i g n i f i c a n c e of deontological l i b e r a l i s m i s i t s foundation "upon the idea of j u s t i c e and r i g h t s rather than upon a conception of a good society" (p. 220). A core thesis of t h i s view i s that society i s 31 composed of a p l u r a l i t y of independent, i n d i v i d u a l persons. Individual r i g h t s are given p r i o r i t y to the s o c i e t a l good, and the primary r i g h t of a l l i s the " r i g h t to choose". Lawson traces the early expression of these views to the 17th century writings of Locke, restated i n modern form i n the works of Rawls and Nozick. The signal contribution of Locke i s the notion that " ' r i g h t s ' possessed by a l l in d i v i d u a l s . . . are antecedent to the establishment of society. These rights are the product of s o c i a l contracts agreed by individuals of equal status" (p. 222), and the r o l e of the State i s to look a f t e r the rig h t s of i n d i v i d u a l s . Correspondingly, j u s t i c e i s a matter of i n d i v i d u a l l i b e r t y ; the 'good' i s a question of "personal rather than c o l l e c t i v e concern" (p. 223). Rawls and Nozick both pick up the same theme of "robust defence of the i n d i v i d u a l " (p. 223), i n which r i g h t s and j u s t i c e are equated to personal autonomy and the defence of i n d i v i d u a l s e l f - i n t e r e s t . Personal autonomy i s an i n t r i n s i c v i r t u e which exists p r i o r to any notion of c o l l e c t i v e qood. Thus, i n terms of education, a goal such as self-development i s of self-evident importance. I t i s an end i n i t s e l f and i s , i n the furtherance of i n d i v i d u a l growth, i n t r i n s i c a l l y worthwhile. Further, the whole enterprise of education i s of value for what i t does for individuals, rather than what 32 i t contributes to society. "On t h i s view 'education' i s a 'good', not something which furthers the good" (p. 223). Within contemporary adult education, Lawson introduces as an example of the influence of deontological l i b e r a l i s m , "andragogical theory", and i t s emphasis on i n d i v i d u a l learning processes. "'Learning', which i s an undifferentiated concept, has tended to emerge i n preference to the value-based and normative concept of 'education'. I t i s regarded as more important that individuals should learn what they choose, than that they should learn something important and worthwhile" (p. 226). Worthwhileness i s lodged i n the process of choosing rather than i n what i s chosen. According to the general trend, " i t i s fashionable to say that adult education i s about process not content. This i s eminently a deontological view" (p. 227). But, Lawson goes on to ask, " i s i t an adequate one?" (p. 227) . Clearly, i n h i s view, i t i s not. He voices concern that such a philosophy could lead to s o c i a l d i s i n t e g r a t i o n rather than l i b e r a t i o n . Deontological l i b e r a l i s m , "as a t r a d i t i o n produces s o c i e t i e s which no longer debate or seek 'the good'. I t i s a philosophy suited to a society which has no v i s i o n . I t s c l e a r e s t manifestation i s i n a free-enterprise monetary economy" (p. 227) wherein monetary values come to be the only values. In adult education, as i n society as a whole, questions of 33 purpose, worthwhileness, and i n t r i n s i c s o c i e t a l good are overriden by questions of personal gain and i n s t i t u t i o n a l p r o f i t and loss . Lawson's c r i t i q u e of individualism i s from a quite d i f f e r e n t perspective than the above authors. Tennant's analysis lacks a p o l i t i c a l dimension. Keddie and G r i f f i n are c r i t i c a l of individualism as an i n t r i n s i c aspect of l i b e r a l i s m which they oppose equally, and lean towards alt e r n a t i v e s informed to some degree by marxist theory. Lawson's approach tackles individualism as a problematic offshoot of a l i b e r a l philosophy ("non"-deontological?) which he, i n the main, upholds. C. EDUCATION SOURCES A point that recurs i n the works of the above authors i s that individualism i s not unique to adult education and that, at l e a s t i n t h i s regard, i t i s something which l i n k s adult education to the formal education system rather than the contrary. For t h i s reason, i t was thought f i t t i n g to include some reference to the c r i t i q u e of individualism within the educational l i t e r a t u r e at large. However, since adult education remains the primary focus of the study, only two works have been selected for consideration. Further, i t should be noted that t h i s i s to some extent to f a l l i n with the pertinacious tendency to consider adult education only i n i t s narrowly i n s t i t u t i o n a l forms, and to ignore i t s wider 34 non-formal and alternative manifestations. The only excuse for t h i s i s that the views c i t e d above require a consideration of the education system to be brought i n , and constraints of time and space require the manifold other dimensions of adult education to be l e f t out. 1. Hargreaves Hargreaves (1980) opens hi s c r i t i q u e with the statement that the "education system i s so deeply imbued with and obsessed by . . . the c u l t of individualism that the s o c i a l functions of education have become t r i v i a l i z e d " (p. 187). In his opinion, education has become overly concerned with the personal development of individuals, and attends too l i t t l e to the creation of a better society; i t encourages an emphasis on i n d i v i d u a l achievement, at the expense of s o c i e t a l i n t e g r i t y and s o l i d a r i t y . Individualism i s categorized by Hargreaves into three d i s t i n c t forms: developmental individualism, meritocratic individualism, and moral individualism. Developmental individualism i s an outgrowth of "Rousseauian romantic" t r a d i t i o n s including the "now widespread b e l i e f . . . that education must be c e n t r a l l y concerned with the growth and development of the i n d i v i d u a l person" (p. 187). M e r i t o c r a t i c individualism has "roots i n the Protestant ethic and i n our conceptions of a democratic society" (p. 187), modernly expressed i n the concern for equality of 35 opportunity, and e f f o r t s to overcome " s o c i a l - c l a s s - r e l a t e d b a r r i e r s which stand i n the way of i n d i v i d u a l progress" (p. 188). Moral individualism i s a r e s u l t of the decline of a f f i l i a t i o n between education and r e l i g i o n , from which has arisen "a new emphasis on the a c q u i s i t i o n by pupils of a r a t i o n a l e t h i c a l stance" (p. 188). A l l three of these forms of individualism constitute "the unquestioned and taken-for-granted assumptions of most contemporary teachers and our education system" (p. 188). The ways i n which Hargreaves perceives individualism to be manifested i n the education system are various. They are r e f l e c t e d , for example, i n aims of education which strongly emphasize the development of cert a i n kinds of personal a t t r i b u t e s . "When teachers t a l k about t h e i r aims, the rhet o r i c i s replete with concepts such as 'in d i v i d u a l development', 'personal growth', and a whole host of concepts — independence, autonomy, s e l f - r e l i a n c e , i n i t i a t i v e — which can a l l be prefaced with the word ' i n d i v i d u a l ' " (p. 193). Correspondingly absent from the working vocabulary of teachers are c o l l e c t i v e or corporate concepts such as "team s p i r i t " , and " e s p r i t de corps". C o l l e c t i v e experiences are not s u f f i c i e n t l y provided i n the classroom; hence, students "must s a t i s f y t h e i r c o l l e c t i v e needs outside school" (p. 194). 36 Educational individualism i s not j u s t r e s t r i c t e d to the language of educational aims; Hargreaves also sees i t r e f l e c t e d i n the role of the teacher i n the classroom and the relationships of teachers amongst each other. There i s , i n p a r t i c u l a r , a "high valuation placed by teachers on the autonomy of each teacher i n his or her own classroom" (pp. 194-5). The teaching force, i n p r i z i n g privacy and independence, i s "progressively s o c i a l i z e d into a severely defective capacity to co-operate with one another. . . . Collaboration i n j o i n t enterprise, the strong sense of co-operation, i s notoriously absent among teachers" (p. 195). Individualism within the teaching profession extends beyond the classroom and the school. Emphasis on teacher autonomy also serves to discourage rather than encourage professional s o l i d a r i t y . Teachers "remain fragmented i n t h e i r professional associations and unions; . . . any c o l l e c t i v e voice of teachers on the great educational issues of our day i s prevented from expressing i t s e l f " (Hargreaves, 1980, p. 195). The orientation of Hargreaves' c r i t i q u e of individualism i n education i s based on a s o c i o l o g i c a l t r a d i t i o n informed lar g e l y by Durkheim. He disagrees with other (notably marxist) s o c i o l o g i c a l perspectives which l i n k individualism to capitalism and assert that once "the d i s t o r t i n g s t r u c t u r a l constraints are removed, educational 37 individualism can follow i t s true course and r e a l i z e i t s ends i n a marxist Utopia" (p. 189). On h i s — Durkheimian — view, the problem i s not one of d i s t o r t i o n but excess. His "argument i s that our educational system i s excessively i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c and that even i f i t were transplanted into a no n - c a p i t a l i s t order i t would continue to be excessively i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c " (p. 189). Hargreaves summarizes Durkheim's view of individualism as follows: In essence Durkheim believed that the lack of s o l i d a r i t y and integration i n modern society sprang from an excessive individualism — from what he termed 'egoism' and 'anomie' which a r i s e when private i n t e r e s t s and greeds burst forth beyond s o c i a l regulation and group controls, (p. 190) In order to regain s o c i a l s o l i d a r i t y , concern for i n d i v i d u a l i n t e r e s t s must be replaced with a concern for i n d i v i d u a l r i g h t s . Hargreaves refers p a r t i c u l a r l y to the l a t e r work of Durkheim, which proposes education as the s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n with the most potential to e f f e c t s o c i e t a l change, p a r t i c u l a r l y with respect to moral education. Hargreaves concludes on the Durkheimian note that the answer to the challenges facing education and society today l i e s i n the r e a l i z a t i o n that the "primary purpose of education i s moral education, and . . . moral education i s c r u c i a l l y a corporate enterprise" (p. 198). I f education i s to help change society, t h i s i s where i t must begin. 38 2. Shor & F r e i r e With the exception of Tennant (an Australian), the authors mentioned above have a l l been B r i t i s h . By contrast, Shor & F r e i r e (1987), i n a "ta l k i n g book" of dialogues on educational transformation, provide a c r i t i q u e of educational individualism within a s p e c i f i c a l l y American (U.S.) context. In Shor's words, American culture has "deep roots i n individualism" (p. 110), h i s t o r i c a l l y and currently: "We have a Utopian devotion to 'making i t on your own' . . . . This i s a culture i n love with self-made men" (p. 110). Shor sees individualism, pedagogy, and economics as c l o s e l y intertwined. The pedagogical "emphasis on the ' s e l f i s the educational equivalent of the c a p i t a l i s t infatuation with the lone entrepreneur" (p. 110). For Shor, the growth of individualism i n America i s t i e d to the h i s t o r i c a l development of the United States as a nation. "Individual dreams of freedom and prosperity i n slaves and immigrants as well as i n slaveholders and captains of industry molded t h i s society" (p. 113). Given t h i s founding i d e a l , s o c i a l movements have had l i m i t e d success i n American h i s t o r i c a l experience. Although i n times of p o l i t i c a l upheaval, such as the 60s, s o c i a l movements have had some influence, the overriding ideology i n American culture has been one of sel f - h e l p and private i n t e r e s t . 39 A major problem which Shor connects with American individualism i s a national s p i r i t of self-absorption which "serves the system's need to divide and conquer among people" (p. I l l ) . I t creates a conformist culture, displaces class s o l i d a r i t y with mass i d e n t i t y , and contradicts the very individualism i t presupposes. American culture becomes "enveloped into a mass exercise f o r improvement v i a the appeal to individualism" (p. 113). C o l l e c t i v e e f f o r t s for s o c i a l transformation are obscured, and solutions to s o c i e t a l i l l s are sought instead — i n the boardroom and i n the classroom — i n "quick f i x e s , dynamic changes, f a s t cures, p r a c t i c a l methods, manageable remedies" (p. 112). Fr e i r e ' s contribution to the dialogue provides a South American perspective on American l i f e and thought. He sees a tendency among American pedagogues to think of the notion of "empowerment" as an "in d i v i d u a l or psychological event" (p. 112) rather than as a question of "how the working class . . . engages i t s e l f i n getting p o l i t i c a l power" (p. 112). As with Shor, he views individualism as a p e c u l i a r l y American phenomenon, deeply embedded within the American s o c i a l and pedagogical systems, making i t d i f f i c u l t (but not impossible) to adapt h i s revolutionary pedagogical techniques from a t h i r d to f i r s t world se t t i n g . 40 The strong i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of individualism with Americanism exhibited by Shor and F r e i r e i s not an issue that f a l l s within the scope of t h i s study. However, one can extrapolate from t h e i r s p e c i f i c a l l y national interpretations of individualism a general orientation that aligns them with the c r i t i c a l pedagogy of Keddie and G r i f f i n i n adult education. Indeed, F r e i r e e s p e c i a l l y has been a central figure i n both pre-adult and adult education i n emphasizing the p o t e n t i a l l y transformative function of education both inside and outside the education system. D SUMMARY Taken as a whole, what can now be said about t h i s c o l l e c t i o n of statements about individualism i n education? F i r s t of a l l , i t i s evident that among the h a l f dozen authors reviewed above, there i s a range of interpretations of what individualism means, how i t i s manifested i n education, and why i t i s of concern. Different authors hi g h l i g h t d i f f e r e n t features i n t h e i r discussions. For some, the emphasis i s on individualism i n the pedagogical (or andragogical) setting. Tennant, for example, examines student-centred p r i n c i p l e s and practices of andragogy, and Hargreaves looks at the predominance of i n d i v i d u a l rather than c o l l e c t i v e experiences between and among students and teachers i n the school. For others, notably Keddie and G r i f f i n , the emphasis i s on individualism i n the organization and provision of adult education services. For 41 these authors the i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c needs-meeting orientation of much adult education perpetuates the e x i s t i n g inequi t i e s and class biases of the status quo, masking them i n the rhe t o r i c of "student-centredness". A t h i r d area of emphasis i s found i n the works of Lawson and Shor & F r e i r e , who are most interested i n the philosophical and h i s t o r i c a l background of individualism within society at large, as expressed i n the notion of " r i g h t s " i n l i b e r a l philosophy (Lawson) or the ide a l of the "rugged i n d i v i d u a l " i n the American Dream (Shor). However, underlying these variat i o n s i n emphasis and d e t a i l , there are unifying features which l i n k the above works together. These have been grouped into four themes, as presented below: 1. Individualism and Society One common theme i s that the i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c nature of the education system i s a r e f l e c t i o n of the s o c i a l system within which i t i s located. Although they acknowledge (and i n some cases stress) that education i s by no means r e s t r i c t e d to schooling, i t i s here where the thrust of the c r i t i q u e of individualism i s focused i n terms of how formal education reproduces e x i s t i n g s o c i e t a l conditions. Individualism i s for the most part portrayed as a broadly s o c i e t a l rather than a s t r i c t l y educational concern. 42 G r i f f i n expresses t h i s most c l e a r l y i n h i s statement that . . . for a v a r i e t y of reasons to do with history, culture and p o l i t i c s an ideology of adult education w i l l obviously be r e l a t i v e to s o c i a l conditions, where ideology w i l l equally f i n d r e f l e c t i o n i n administration and p r a c t i c e . The 'individualism' of adult education only arises i n s o c i e t i e s r e l a t i v e to a s o c i a l l y -determined notion of 'individualism' i t s e l f . (1983, p. 93) . This observation i s what also both Lawson and Shor are getting at — although from quite opposite d i r e c t i o n s — i n t h e i r discussions of individualism not i n terms of education per se. but i n terms of p o l i t i c a l philosophy (Lawson), and popular American culture (Shor). These are simply d i f f e r e n t ends of the same s o c i e t a l spectrum, r e f l e c t i n g the same basic theme that education i s i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c because that i s the nature of the society i n which we l i v e . 2. Individualism and the Individual A second unifying theme i s that individualism i s very c l o s e l y related to how the concept of the " i n d i v i d u a l " i s understood within the context of contemporary c i v i l i z a t i o n . In other words, within the modern s o c i a l f a b r i c there are ce r t a i n normative assumptions about what constitutes good or bad, normal or abnormal in d i v i d u a l human c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . For the adult education authors the general tenor of these assumptions i s captured by the notion of andragogy. Andragogical p r i n c i p l e s r e f l e c t widespread b e l i e f s i n the importance of such attributes as s e l f - d i r e c t i o n , i n t e r n a l motivation, personal r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and autonomous choice i n 43 human development and i n the learning process. The i n d i v i d u a l i s (or ought to be) a unique and autonomous ent i t y , for whom psychological growth involves the discovery and release of one's "talents, capacities, and p o t e n t i a l i t i e s " (Tennant, 1986, p. 113). The two following quotes c i t e d by Lawson (1985) represent statements with which many i n adult education would concur: 'Education' accordinq to Paterson (1979: 15) ' d i r e c t l y touches us i n our personal being, tending our i d e n t i t y at i t s roots and ministering d i r e c t l y to our condition as conscious selves aspiring i n a l l our undertakings to greater f u l l n e s s and completeness of being. (p. 219) For W i l t s h i r e (1976: 139) 'individuation' i s the goal of adult education i n the sense of 'self-discovery and self-development v o l u n t a r i l y undertaken.' (p. 220) Although the term andragogy i s unique to adult education, the values and assumptions about i n d i v i d u a l growth and i d e n t i t y which underlie i t are not: The Rogerian and Maslovian aims of "personal growth", " s e l f - d i r e c t i o n " and 11 s e l f - a c t u a l i z a t i o n " f l o u r i s h as much i n the pedagogical l i t e r a t u r e as i n the andragogical l i t e r a t u r e . 3. What's Wrong with the Individual A t h i r d theme, a r i s i n g d i r e c t l y out of the second, i s that t h i s way of understanding the i n d i v i d u a l may be very fundamental to the modern Western view of "the way we are", but i t i s i n several ways problematic. 44 a) I t contains, f i r s t of a l l , an unacknowledged socio-p o l i t i c a l bias. For Keddie t h i s bias r e f l e c t s a middle-class value system, c l o s e l y related to middle-class notions of i n d i v i d u a l competitiveness and achievement. For Shor the bias i s characterized as p a r t i c u l a r l y i n tune with American culture. For Lawson i t r e f l e c t s p e c u l i a r l y modern and Western b e l i e f s , i n contrast to cultures such as China, where " i t i s the commonality rather than i n d i v i d u a l i t y which i s the major concern" (Lawson, 1985, p. 220). Regardless of these v a r i a t i o n s i n where the expression of individualism i s considered most acute, the suggestion runs through a l l of the sources that, as Lawson.puts i t : 'In d i v i d u a l i t y ' and ' s e l f - i d e n t i t y ' are not simply empirical facts. They represent i m p l i c i t claims for a c e r t a i n kind of status and they are e t h i c a l concepts. . . . The idea of a f r e e l y choosing 'autonomous s e l f i s at the centre of much of our thinking. The i n t e g r i t y of a unique s e l f and a concern for i t s preservation, l i t e r a l l y a concern for ' s e l f - i n t e r e s t ' , are important values. But there are other ways of seeing things. . . . (p. 220) b) A second c r i t i q u e i s that t h i s view of the i n d i v i d u a l i s one-dimensional. The i n d i v i d u a l i s conceived i n terms of the p r i o r i t y of the "authentic s e l f " without f u l l y acknowledging the s o c i a l and h i s t o r i c a l dimensions by which the s e l f i s constituted. For Hargreaves, " i n d i v i d u a l i d e n t i t y has a s o c i a l and corporate component" (1980, p. 197) which i s overlooked by a pedagogy committed to educational aims hig h l i g h t i n g i n d i v i d u a l development and achievement and de-emphasizing the importance of c o l l e c t i v e and corporate learning experiences. For Keddie and G r i f f i n , the concern i s more p o l i t i c a l than pedagogical: The p r e v a i l i n g view "of the learner 'as an abstract and universal i n d i v i d u a l ' rather than as 'a person situated i n a h i s t o r i c a l , s o c i a l and e x i s t e n t i a l context' 1 1 (Keddie, 1980, p. 47, c i t i n g Gelpi) i s not only one-dimensional i n i t s e l f but also f a i l s to recognize the i m p l i c i t connection between the person and the forces of power within society. c) Third, the challenge i s made that within t h i s p a r t i c u l a r notion of the i n d i v i d u a l there are contained some contradictions. A recurrent point of c r i t i c i s m i s that i n d i v i d u a l i t y seems to lead more often to uniformity than difference. F r e i r e points out about self-improvement programs that, "on the one hand, they intensely stimulate individualism. On the other hand, they are consistently p r e s c r i p t i v e " (p. 113). Keddie too suggests that expressions of i n d i v i d u a l i t y are often sanctioned and proscribed and she includes a quote from King about the student-centred ideology of primary education that "an i r o n i c consequence of defining children as i n d i v i d u a l s were attempts to reduce i n d i v i d u a l i t y " (as quoted i n Keddie, 1980, p. 52). Thus, there i s a thematic question about how t r u l y i n d i v i d u a l the i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c notion of personal i d e n t i t y a c t u a l l y i s . 46 d) A fourth c r i t i c i s m i s that the i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c "concept of the ' s e l f i s i t s e l f a f i c t i o n " (Lawson, 1985, p. 226). I t i s an i d e a l i s t i c v i s i o n of a c e r t a i n kind of self-concept which i s not a r e a l i s t i c picture of human id e n t i t y . For Tennant t h i s i s characterized as a c o l l e c t i o n of mythical b e l i e f s about the i n d i v i d u a l and about adult learning. What i s needed i n his view i s a closer alignment between ideals and r e a l i t y . For Lawson what i s needed i s to ask harder questions about whether or not the ideals themselves may do more harm than good. In a l l the sources there i s a theme that education t h e o r i s t s and p r a c t i t i o n e r s need to become more aware and more c r i t i c a l of the f a l s e u n i v e r s a l i t y of the notion of the i n d i v i d u a l within education and within society i n order to better understand "what i s r e a l l y going on", i n order for education to be better attuned to the r e a l workings of society, and i n order for society i t s e l f to better diagnose and remedy the sources of i t s own malaise. 4) What's Wrong with Society The fourth theme, as hinted by the concluding statement above, i s that contemporary society indeed suffers from an i n t e r n a l malaise. The view common to these authors i s that there are serious problems with an education system and a culture that fosters such an i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c view of the person and of the way society i s organized. 47 The problems touched on are many and wide-ranging. For Hargreaves, a f t e r Durkheim, they concern "the threats to s o l i d a r i t y i n advanced, i n d u s t r i a l i z e d society. . . . " (p. 190) and are found i n such f r u i t s of excessive individualism as "corporate egoism" on the one hand, and "alienated and i s o l a t e d i n d i v i d u a l s " (p. 197) on the other. For Keddie, there i s a "severing of the connection between the p o l i t i c a l nature of s o c i a l problems and the i n d i v i d u a l who presents problems" (p. 57), and those on the down side of the power balance s u f f e r the consequences and often take the blame. In Lawson's view, the problem i s of a society unpinned from any sense of i n t r i n s i c value or s o c i e t a l good, "a society which has l o s t i t s way" (p. 227). These concerns about the present state of society and i t s hopes for the future are connected for these authors with further concerns about the r o l e of education i n eith e r perpetuating e x i s t i n g conditions or somehow contributing to change for the better. For a l l of them, education has been a source of problems, yet has the potential to contribute to the process of s o c i e t a l transformation. Although none of the sources provide a cl e a r picture beyond "change from", of what might be entailed i n "change to", change i s consistently urged as a necessary and pressing thing. Change for the most part i s equated with an i n i t i a l change i n awareness: to become more c r i t i c a l l y aware f i r s t of the conditions of individualism and second i t s l i m i t a t i o n s are the f i r s t steps i n meeting the problems for society which individualism i s seen to pose. 49 CHAPTER FOUR THE ANALYTIC FRAMEWORK A. INTRODUCTION One way of examining the statements about individualism i n the adult education l i t e r a t u r e i s to locate them within a broader context. To t h i s end, an an a l y t i c framework was developed. The purpose of the present chapter i s to give an account of that framework. I t includes a discussion of the structure of the framework and i t s intent, as well as the presentation of i t s main components and features. B. THE FRAMEWORK There are many kinds of anal y t i c schemes, depending upon the nature of what i s to be analyzed and the aims of analysis. Turner (as c i t e d by Kastner, 1988) i s o l a t e s two basic typologies: n a t u r a l i s t i c / p o s i t i v i s t i c schemes which t r y to develop a t i g h t l y woven system of categories that i s presumed to capture the way i n which the invariant properties of the universe are ordered; and d e s c r i p t i v e / s e n s i t i z i n g schemes which are more loosely assembled congeries of concepts intended only to s e n s i t i z e and orient researchers to cer t a i n c r i t i c a l processes, (p. 40) The orientation of the present framework follows the l a t t e r scheme, i n keeping with the abstract nature of the topic under study, and the aim of bringing to l i g h t (or " s e n s i t i z i n g " the reader to) some of the underlying issues implied by the term individualism but often not examined i n depth. 50 The framework was organized around the three following assumptions, which were thought to be es s e n t i a l to the meaning of individualism: 1) Individualism concerns the nature of the in d i v i d u a l , p a r t i c u l a r l y i n regard to the rel a t i o n s h i p between the ind i v i d u a l and society. Basic to the d e f i n i t i o n of individualism i s that i n d i v i d u a l i n t e r e s t s are separable from s o c i e t a l ones, and take some p r i o r i t y . 2) Individualism has a p e c u l i a r l y modern derivation, c l o s e l y t i e d to the development of contemporary Western c i v i l i z a t i o n . 3) The i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c nature of contemporary Western c i v i l i z a t i o n has many problematic aspects for those who espouse d i f f e r e n t values. To t a l k about individualism i s for many an occasion to t a l k about the ways i n which modern society i s seen to have gone wrong. To construct a framework for exploring these assumptions — i n and of themselves as well as i n t h e i r expression within the adult education l i t e r a t u r e — the works of Taylor and Maclntyre were used as primary resources. The reasons for drawing on these p a r t i c u l a r authors have already been touched on i n Chapter Two, but a b r i e f recap may be he l p f u l here. Mostly the value of t h e i r contribution l i e s i n the perspective they provide concerning the points above. With regard to the f i r s t point, both Taylor and Maclntyre explore the connections between the i n d i v i d u a l and society, not simply i n terms of s o c i a l behaviour, but i n terms of how i n d i v i d u a l i d e n t i t y i s r e f l e c t e d and entrenched on a l l s o c i e t a l dimensions, including language, morality, aesthetics, epistemology to name ju s t a few. Of course, i n exploring these connections there are d i f f e r e n t ways one could go, focusing more sharply on eith e r the i n d i v i d u a l or on the s o c i e t a l side of the coin. Both Taylor and Maclntyre opt for the former, owing to the central importance they place on the b e l i e f i n the p r i o r i t y of the in d i v i d u a l as a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c feature of modern culture. With regard to the second point, both take a wide h i s t o r i c a l perspective, and maintain that the concept of the i n d i v i d u a l of contemporary Western c i v i l i z a t i o n i s a c u l t u r a l and h i s t o r i c a l creation, " i n t e l l i g i b l e only as the end product of a long and complex set of developments" (Maclntyre, 1981, p. 30). Third, they both s t a r t from the premise that there are troubles i n our times, and that the nature of these troubles and the nature of i n d i v i d u a l i d e n t i t y are c l o s e l y related. The modern world i s i n "a state of grave disorder," says Maclntyre (1981, p. 2), and the modern in d i v i d u a l stands i n i t s midst. For both authors, any progress towards correcting the former requires facing c l e a r l y and unblinkingly the central p o s i t i o n of the l a t t e r . Thus, the concerns taken up by Taylor and Maclntyre were deemed to have a bearing on the present study i n terms 52 of placing adult education concerns regarding individualism within an encompassing perspective. On these matters there are other, and at times very d i f f e r e n t , opinions (see, for example, Foucault, 1988a, 1988b; Rorty, 1976; Strawson, 1959); however with the purpose i n mind of keeping the study within manageable bounds, i t was considered that these l i e beyond the scope of the present work. Following from the above three points, i n structuring the framework the views of Taylor and Maclntyre have been organized around three thematic questions: 1) What i s an individual? 2) How i s the concept of the in d i v i d u a l i n the present d i f f e r e n t from i n the past, and what h i s t o r i c a l developments are associated with the t r a n s i t i o n into modernity? 3) What are the problematic aspects of the modern concept of the ind i v i d u a l and how do these r e l a t e to broader s o c i e t a l problems? The views outlined below take a very wide h i s t o r i c a l and m u l t i d i s c i p l i n a r y perspective; the inte r e s t s of synthesis involve some s a c r i f i c e of d e t a i l . Further, these views are not value-free. They a r t i c u l a t e the po s i t i o n that not only i s the modern world i n grave disorder, but that modern theory lar g e l y f a i l s to even acknowledge much less account for or begin to come to terms with the problems of 53 our time. Such a stance i s bound to i n v i t e disagreement and debate. I t i s held by these authors and the author of t h i s study that r i g h t answers remain a long way o f f , but that the only way towards them i s by taking on and taking up whatever debate ensues. C. WHAT IS AN INDIVIDUAL? The "conception of the i n d i v i d u a l , " Taylor claims, " i s an h i s t o r i c creation" (1985b, p. 257) p a r t i c u l a r to modern times, involving views about the uniqueness and autonomy of ind i v i d u a l persons which are rather d i f f e r e n t from the views of our c u l t u r a l ancestors, d i f f e r e n t from other (non-dominant) cultures e x i s t i n g today. Thus, a f i r s t point i n considering the question of "what i s an in d i v i d u a l ? " i s that i t i s a p a r t i c u l a r kind of something. I t involves the p a r t i c u l a r way i n which some human beings may define themselves (a unique, autonomous, and separate person) — but not a l l of them. A more generic term to describe t h i s i s " i d e n t i t y " . As Taylor (1985c) puts i t , the concept of i d e n t i t y involves the manner i n which human beings define themselves, how we know who and/or what we are: To define my i d e n t i t y i s to define what I must be i n contact with i n order to function f u l l y as a human agent, and s p e c i f i c a l l y to be able to . . . discriminate . . . what i s r e a l l y of worth or importance both i n general and for me. To say that something i s part of my i d e n t i t y i s to say that without i t I should be at a loss i n making those d i s c r i m i -nations which are c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y human. . . . 54 [Identity i s what] helps constitute the horizon within which these discriminations have meaning fo r me. (p. 258) Within t h i s statement, two p a r t i c u l a r words are noteworthy. They are: discriminations and horizon. Some further elaboration of them shows more c l e a r l y the s i g n i f i c a n c e of each. The former has an evaluative dimension; i n fact, Taylor (1985c) uses discriminations and evaluations synonymously: Our i d e n t i t y i s defined by our fundamental evaluations. The answer to the question 'What i s my i d e n t i t y ? ' cannot be given by any l i s t of properties . . . about my physical description, provenance, background, capacities, and so on. A l l these can figure i n my i d e n t i t y , but only as assumed i n a c e r t a i n way. (p. 34) Identity, as these quotations suggest, c l e a r l y , i s n ' t something that can be e a s i l y pinned down. I t involves biographical facts, of course, but more e l u s i v e l y i t involves the manner i n which the facts are interpreted and valued, the manner i n which they matter. This i s where horizon comes i n . Taylor uses i t as a metaphor, s i m i l a r to i t s use i n contemporary hermeneutics (e.g. Gadamer 1975, 1982), i n reference to that aspect of meaning which i s so central to our understanding of things that i t i s hardly acknowledged as meaningful at a l l . I t i s background landscape, as i t were, which goes unseen, but provides the contours by which we know where (or i n t h i s case, who) we are. "This horizon i s , of course, never f u l l y 55 defined. . . . But we have a general sense of where i t can be found" (Taylor, 1985c, p. 258). Identity i s therefore something more than personal c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and circumstances; inseparable from these are background evaluations by which they gain s i g n i f i c a n c e . The horizon of i d e n t i t y shapes the way i n which c e r t a i n actions are deemed worthy or unworthy, c e r t a i n q u a l i t i e s are valued above others. These evaluations "are so i n t e g r a l l y part of me that to disvalue them would be to r e j e c t myself" (Taylor, 1985c, p. 34). Thus, i n Taylor's view, the i n d i v i d u a l i s a p a r t i c u l a r species, to adopt a b i o l o g i c a l metaphor, within the genus id e n t i t y , whose natural habitat i s the world of modern times. Maclntyre (1981) holds a s i m i l a r view, also seeing the i n d i v i d u a l as a p a r t i c u l a r variant of i d e n t i t y , a uniquely modern invention (p. 59) (a nefarious invention, i n Maclntyre's eyes, c e n t r a l l y implicated i n the e t h i c a l and epistemological decay of contemporary c i v i l i z a t i o n . But to t h i s we w i l l turn l a t e r ) . Towards a d e f i n i t i o n of i d e n t i t y , Maclntyre draws on P a r f i t ' s d i s t i n c t i o n between "either/or" c r i t e r i a of s t r i c t i d e n t i t y , and "psychological c o n t i n u i t i e s of personality which are a matter of more or l e s s " (1981, p. 201). (Am I Jane Dawson? Yes or no. Am I the same person now as I was ten years ago i n terms of aptitudes, i n t e r e s t s , etcetera? More or less.) Maclntyre's point i s that both of these matter i n defining i d e n t i t y , but are i n s u f f i c i e n t to define i t wholly. What's missing i s something l i k e Taylor's notion of horizon; the word Maclntyre uses i s "background" (1981, p. 202). Background, i n Maclntyre's sense, i s related to what he c a l l s "narrative unity" (1981, pp. 190-209) which involves, along with the discriminations, or evaluations discussed by Taylor, the further dimension of "membership i n communities" (p. 203). Thus, i n addition to the necessary psychological c o n t i n u i t i e s , i d e n t i t y also requires moral, h i s t o r i c a l and s o c i a l c o n t i n u i t i e s . To jump ahead s l i g h t l y once again to Maclntyre's c r i t i c a l appraisal, where the modern p o s i t i o n of the i n d i v i d u a l within society goes wrong i s i n p r i v i l e g i n g the former, and i n s u f f i c i e n t l y attending to the l a t t e r three; i n other words, "when man i s thought of as an in d i v i d u a l p r i o r to and apart from a l l roles . . . 'man' ceases to be a functional concept" (1981, p. 56) . A related term, which Maclntyre uses more frequently than i d e n t i t y , i s " s e l f " . The s e l f i s a bearer of i d e n t i t y , again influenced by h i s t o r i c a l and c u l t u r a l context. The d i s t i n c t l y modern s e l f — the in d i v i d u a l — Maclntyre characterizes by the epithet "emotivist". This i s the term 57 he uses to encapsulate his c r i t i c a l views; what i s meant by t h i s w i l l be explored at greater length l a t e r on. To sum up, i n response to the question "what i s an ind i v i d u a l ? " both Taylor and Maclntyre would claim that i t i s a p a r t i c u l a r c u l t u r a l and h i s t o r i c a l variant of i d e n t i t y . Identity i s a d i f f i c u l t concept to define because i t consists not only of the biographical facts of a person's l i f e , but also of the rather shadowy evaluative c r i t e r i a (metaphorically i n the background or on the horizon) by which these facts gain (or do not gain) s i g n i f i c a n c e . What i s d i s t i n c t i v e about the modern i n d i v i d u a l , how i t d i f f e r s from i d e n t i t y i n past time, and how i t developed hand i n hand with modernity, are taken up further below. D. THE INDIVIDUAL: MODERN AND PRE-MODERN VIEWS 1. The H i s t o r i c a l Context For both Taylor and Maclntyre, the concept of the in d i v i d u a l i s only understandable as an h i s t o r i c a l development, and the only way to gain perspective on t h i s concept i s by showing an h i s t o r i c a l contrast. In the " t r a n s i t i o n into modernity" (Maclntyre, 1981, p. 58) which took place, for Taylor, "perhaps p i v o t a l l y i n the seventeenth century" (1985c, p. 258), for Maclntyre a century l a t e r , there was a corresponding s h i f t i n loc a t i o n of the horizon of i d e n t i t y . Taylor (1985c) summarizes the nature of t h i s s h i f t i n the claim "that for the modern, the 58 horizon of i d e n t i t y i s to be found within, while for the pre-modern i t i s without" (p. 258). What i s entailed i n the difference between outer and inner horizon, between the pre-modern and modern i d e n t i t y , can be shown more graphically by means of rough comparative sketches of each i d e n t i t y type. For the sake of s i m p l i c i t y these are necessarily very abstract, i d e a l representations: s t i c k figures, rather than t r u e - t o - l i f e human forms. The intention i s not to give a l i f e l i k e representation of r e a l i t y , but rather to highlight e s s e n t i a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s i n i l l u s t r a t i o n of some basic contrasts. 2. The Pre-modern Identity I f my i d e n t i t y were of the pre-modern type, I would be in c l i n e d , according to Taylor (see e s p e c i a l l y 1985c, pp. 248-288) to think of myself along these l i n e s : The question "who am I?" would be answered i n terms of my role s , re l a t i o n s h i p s , b e l i e f s , and a f f i l i a t i o n s . I am an art i s a n , for example, of t h i s lineaqe, of that f a i t h . My i d e n t i t y would be derived l a r g e l y from these conditions of my existence. I would gain f u l f i l l m e n t i n my i d e n t i t y by performing well i n my proper duties, by taking my proper place within the household or community. Generally speaking, knowing my i d e n t i t y would be a matter of f i t t i n g into an ordained pattern with cosmological, s o c i e t a l and ancestral dimensions. This pattern would define my world; 59 without i t , I would have no place, no meaningful existence, no i d e n t i t y . Maclntyre reinforces Taylor's picture with a s i m i l a r p o r t r a i t of the pre-modern i d e n t i t y (1981): I am brother, cousin and grandson, member of t h i s household, that v i l l a g e , t h i s t r i b e . These are not c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s that belong to human beings acciden-t a l l y , to be stripped away i n order to discover 'the r e a l me'. They are part of my substance, defining p a r t i a l l y at l e a s t and sometimes wholly my obligations and my duties, (p. 32) The horizon of i d e n t i t y i n t h i s depiction i s an outer, r e l a t i o n a l horizon because i t i s i n c l u s i v e of the community and t r a d i t i o n s which are not mine by choice but by a s c r i p t i o n . Both authors draw t h e i r examples of pre-modern i d e n t i t y from a v a r i e t y of d i f f e r e n t cultures and h i s t o r i c a l epoches. Taylor (1985c, 1988b) makes p a r t i c u l a r reference to Plato and A r i s t o t l e as i n f l u e n t i a l pre-modern protagonists, and refe r s as well, somewhat anecdotally, to how the pre-modern i d e n t i t y i s r e f l e c t e d i n medieval and Renaissance thought and doctrine. Maclntyre also draws on ancient Greek, medieval, and Renaissance sources and introduces heroic s o c i e t i e s such as the old Icelandic and I r i s h . Of course, there are many differences among the epoches and c u l t u r a l t r a d i t i o n s c o l l e c t e d here under the wide "pre-modern" umbrella. Their unity i s by no means harmonious, and i s only a unity i n terms of the manner of which they contrast 60 with the (equally cacaphonic) "unity" here c a l l e d the "modern i d e n t i t y " . 3. The Modern Identity As the holder of a modern i d e n t i t y 1 my response to the question "who am I?" d i f f e r s from that of my pre-modern ancestor. I have an occupation, a family, and possibly a f a i t h , as before, and these figure i n my i d e n t i t y , but there i s an e s s e n t i a l difference. Social roles and relationships give shape to my id e n t i t y , but don't constitute i t . They are, or ought to be, subordinate and derivative, subject to personal choice. The question "who am I?" i s a matter for private r e f l e c t i o n , answered by separating myself from outside influences, and r e a l i z i n g what i s unique about me i n terms of emotions, aptitudes, creative p o t e n t i a l . To f u l f i l l my i d e n t i t y requires freeinq myself from imposed expectations, and establishing myself as a person capable of autonomous and independent thought and action. I t i s up to me to draw upon my own inner resources to f i n d meaning and f u l f i l m e n t . However, to gain insight into and control over my authentic i d e n t i t y i s n ' t easy, i t i s a l i f e t i m e e f f o r t — i t takes, as Taylor says, "courage, and v i s i o n . . . or else education" (1985c, p. 265). The sketch of the modern i d e n t i t y here i s e s s e n t i a l l y a sketch of the modern man. As Midgely has pointed out, the "whole idea of a free, independent, enquiring, choosing i n d i v i d u a l , an idea central to European thought, has always been e s s e n t i a l l y the idea of a male . . . "(1984, p. 51). 61 This quick sketch i s a composite of many contemporary notions, including snippets from (at least) u t i l i t a r i a n i s m , e x i s t e n t i a l i s m , and humanism. However, the common feature, and the point of immediate contrast with the pre-modern i d e n t i t y , i s the focus on inner experience. The horizon of the modern i d e n t i t y i s within; i d e n t i t y , i n t h i s l i g h t , i s a matter of the uniqueness, difference and s i n g u l a r i t y of i n d i v i d u a l persons, p r i o r to outer circumstances. The external "order of things" (Taylor, 1985c, p. 259) of the old view, wherein achievement of the good l i f e , the successful i d e n t i t y , required l i v i n g up to one's place within that order, has been overshadowed by a modern view wherein such an order appears tyrannical, such an i d e n t i t y inauthentic. The good l i f e , the authentic i d e n t i t y , require freedom from externally imposed order. Taylor makes a palpable analogy to demonstrate the contrast: For the modern, an image of s a t i s f a c t i o n i s something akin to "the f u l f i l l m e n t of a f e l t desire for an object, l i k e hunger or t h i r s t ; an image for the other would be rather that of approaching a source of l i g h t or warmth, for example getting close to a f i r e " (1985c, p. 259). The s h i f t from outer to inner horizon of i d e n t i t y didn't happen by i t s e l f , i s o l a t e d from other phenomena of h i s t o r y ; rather, i t was part of a whole complex of changes i n thought and s e n s i b i l i t y p i v o t a l l y , for Taylor, i n the seventeenth century. Since that time there have been 62 massive changes i n science and technology, art, r e l i g i o n , philosophy, morality, and everyday l i f e . Underlying them a l l are two signal features, which p a r t i c u l a r l y pertain to a new understanding of i d e n t i t y : "disengagement" and " i n t e r i o r i t y " (1985b, 1985c, 1988a, 1988b). The notion of disengagement i s associated with what has been c a l l e d the "Cartesian turn" (Hollinger, 1985) wherein, a f t e r Descartes, an esse n t i a l a t t r i b u t e of reason comes to be the capacity for thought to examine i t s e l f . R a t i o n a l i t y i s no longer found within nature (as i t was, for example, with Plato), but requires separation from embeddedness i n the physical world i n order to think o b j e c t i v e l y and dispassionately. Hand i n hand with disengagement comes i n t e r i o r i t y . Reason, disengaged from the external order of things, comes to be located within the in d i v i d u a l himself. "On the old view, there i s a logos i n things. But the modern view, r e j e c t i n g meaningful order, understands thought as what happens within subjects. Thought i s always i n a mind" (Taylor, 1985c, p. 257). The move towards i n t e r i o r i z a t i o n i s not ju s t an epistemological one. P a r a l l e l s h i f t s also occur i n many other facets of human existence. Increasing i n t e r i o r i z a t i o n i s also r e f l e c t e d , for example, i n s i g n i f i c a n t changes i n a r t i s t i c expression (Taylor, 1988a). In the case of poetry, p r i o r to 1750 poetics followed c l o s e l y to established canons and s t r i c t l y observed formulae. Afte r the mid-1700s (roughly), the rules become less regulatory; poetic achievement becomes more a matter of self-expression, "inner" c r e a t i v i t y . With the Romantics and subsequently, the form and language of poetry become much more subjective and i d i o s y n c r a t i c , r e f l e c t i n g personal resonances within the poet himself. One can see c l e a r l y the difference between, say, the formal symmetry of ancient rhyme i n metred rhyming couplets, l i n e by l i n e and the word-play; l i n e -alignment and emotional EXPRESSIVITY!!!! of someone l i k e : e.e.cummings Maclntyre's (1981) view of the development and c h a r a c t e r i s t i c features of the modern i d e n t i t y dovetails with Taylor's to a great extent. However, for Maclntyre, the p i v o t a l century i s the eighteenth, with the most s i g n i f i c a n t manifestation of the modern i d e n t i t y being a changed understanding of morality evidenced i n both moral theory and i n moral commonplaces of everyday l i f e . Although he sees the impulses of modernity slowly gathering i n the centuries p r i o r to the eighteenth, i t i s at that time, i n philosophical developments exemplified e s p e c i a l l y i n the 64 works of Hume, Diderot, and Kant, when comes a " f i n a l break with the c l a s s i c a l t r a d i t i o n " (1981, p. 56), and the concomitant b i r t h of modernity. "What was then invented was the i n d i v i d u a l " (p. 59). What i s expressed by these writers and has such consequences for the modern i d e n t i t y i s , underlying t h e i r many differences, the shared r e j e c t i o n of "any t e l e o l o g i c a l view of human nature, any view of man as having an essence which defines h i s true end" (p. 52). With Hume, t h i s takes the form of a new epistemological/moral p r i n c i p l e wherein "no 'ought' conclusions can be derived from ' i s ' premises" (Maclntyre, 1981, p. 56). For Kant, moral authority i s grounded i n appeal to p r a c t i c a l reason, but "reason f o r him, as much as for Hume, discerns no essential natures and no t e l e o l o g i c a l features i n the objective universe avai l a b l e f o r study . . . " (p. 52). The project of eighteenth century moral philosophy generally was one of j u s t i f y i n g morality as a product of human nature, related e i t h e r to the passions (Hume, Diderot) or to reason (Kant), but no longer contexted within "any public, shared rationale or j u s t i f i c a t i o n " (p. 48). The s i g n i f i c a n c e of t h i s for i d e n t i t y i s that the s e l f comes to be granted moral agency p r i o r to (or, as Taylor might say, inside) any ultimate moral c r i t e r i a , p r i n c i p l e s or values, and thus owes them nothing more than honourary 65 allegiance. "Behind the fact/value s p l i t , which one sees emerging i n Hume, and then becoming a dominant theme i n our century, l i e s a new understanding and valuation of [ind i v i d u a l i d e n t i t y ] " (Taylor, 1988b, p. 2, re Maclntyre). Underlying manifold other modern developments i n science, i n p o l i t i c s , and so on, i s a new conception of i n d i v i d u a l freedom and autonomy. The t e l e o l o g i c a l "ought"s which were an e s s e n t i a l part of the pre-modern i d e n t i t y , become constraints on these newly valued t r a i t s . The " p e c u l i a r l y modern s e l f , the emotivist s e l f , i n acquiring sovereignty i n i t s own realm l o s t i t s t r a d i t i o n a l boundaries provided by a s o c i a l i d e n t i t y and a view of human l i f e as ordered to a given end" (Maclntyre, 1981, p. 32). Maclntyre's characterization of the modern i d e n t i t y as "emotivist" requires some further c l a r i f i c a t i o n . S t r i c t l y defined, emotivism " i s the doctrine that a l l evaluative judgements and more s p e c i f i c a l l y a l l moral judgements are nothing but expressions of preference, expressions of attitude or f e e l i n g , insofar as they are moral or evaluative i n character" (p. 11). I t i s associated p a r t i c u l a r l y with the early twentieth century philosophers Moore and Stevenson. Although, Maclntyre admits, outright defenders of emotivist theory have, for the most part, had t h e i r day, he claims nonetheless that "to a large degree people now think, t a l k and act as i f emotivism were true, no matter 66 what t h e i r avowed t h e o r e t i c a l standpoint may be. Emotivism has become embodied i n our culture" (p. 21). In summary, the key difference between the pre-modern and modern i d e n t i t y i s that for the modern, s e l f - d e f i n i t i o n i s i n terms of singular, i n d i v i d u a l uniqueness (the horizon i s within), whereas for the pre-modern s e l f - d e f i n i t i o n depends l a r g e l y upon one's connectedness within a community, within a larger, closed order (the horizon i s without). For Taylor, two notions that are central to the growth of the modern i d e n t i t y , beginning i n the seventeenth century, are disengagement and i n t e r i o r i t y , which have had a profound influence on academic theory i n a l l d i s c i p l i n e s , on a r t i s t i c expression, as well as on taken-for-granted b e l i e f s and values of the quotidian world. For Maclntyre, the fact/value s p l i t thematic to eiqhteenth century philosophy and subsequently, was a p i v o t a l development i n the hi s t o r y of thought i n which the modern world l a r g e l y rejected t r a d i t i o n a l t e l e o l o g i c a l views, and replaced them with views which he characterizes, i n t h e i r incommensurability, as emotivist. Although often h i s t o r i c a l l y celebrated as a gain, on Maclntyre's view t h i s change signals the grave loss of any context wherein moral utterance has coherence. E. THE MODERN INDIVIDUAL: A "PROBLEM CHILD" For both authors, the notion of the i n d i v i d u a l that was born with modern times i s very much a "problem c h i l d " , 67 associated with serious conditions of s o c i e t a l malaise. Taylor (1985c) broaches his concerns i n an exploration of "the question of whether we can speak of a 'legitimation c r i s i s ' i n Western c a p i t a l i s t s o c i e t i e s " (p. 248). He sets out to r e l a t e the features of the modern i d e n t i t y with the features of modern society, and thence to trace "the ways i n which t h i s same society may be systematically undermining i t s own legitimacy" (p. 249). To go into the whole argument i s too large a task, but a summary of the main points w i l l be h e l p f u l i n getting cle a r e r on Taylor's view of the i d e n t i t y / s o c i e t y r e l a t i o n s h i p and i t s i l l s . F i r s t , he looks at "the moral condemnations and defences that are made of contemporary society" (p. 249). On the "pro" side, what has modern society brought about? For m i l l i o n s of people, whose forbears were the factory fodder of the i n d u s t r i a l revolution, who may have been packed i n over-crowded, insanitary, h a s t i l y - b u i l t workers' housing, sweated twelve hours and more a day, without privacy or a decent family l i f e i n the other twelve, barely able to scrape a l i v i n g , with an appalling rate of desertion of women by t h e i r men, with children growing up stunted p h y s i c a l l y and emotionally; for these m i l l i o n s there now i s the chance for a home, decently furnished, space, family l i f e , the creative use of l e i s u r e , the building of a private space i n which they can bring up a family, p r a c t i s e hobbies, see friends. . . . (p. 252). On the "con" side, he l i s t s some of the central c r i t i c i s m s of the modern achievement. One he c a l l s the "Platonic" protest (exemplified by the figure of C a l l i c l e s i n Plato's Gorgias, and i n modern form by Schumacher) that 68 the conditions of consumer success also breed "a society whose motive forces are greed and envy" (p. 249). A related "Romantic" protest (after Rousseau, echoed by the early Marx, Marcuse) i s that a society so driven i s enslaved by i t s desire to possess and control, and b l i n d to higher things such as beauty and meaning i n nature. "The drive to dominate generates compulsive a c t i v i t y , anxiety, inner tension, and eventually aggression and violence. Freedom and v i s i o n , as well as harmony, community and peace, are only possible i f we somehow l i b e r a t e ourselves from i t " (p. 250) . A t h i r d protest i s that of i r r a t i o n a l i t y , as i n the "marxist . . . connection between i r r a t i o n a l p r i o r i t i e s and the i d e o l o g i c a l consciousness of c a p i t a l i s t society" (p. 251) : We have the means by which the goods of society can be shared equally, yet growth only escalates into absurdity (bigger! better! more!) rather than e f f e c t i n g any balance between r i c h and poor; indeed, i f anything the gap i s widened. "Growth can . . . make the l o t of poor people worse" (p. 283). Thus, Taylor shows that the conditions of modern society are such that there i s a strong motive towards consumer growth and attendant inte r e s t s , coupled with a strong moral resistance to t h i s very motive, which combine to create deep s o c i e t a l tensions: a loss of f a i t h , a c r i s i s of allegiance, a society which "saps the bases of i t s own 69 legitimacy" (p. 288). These tensions are i n t e r n a l to modern society and i n the same way i n t e r n a l to the modern i d e n t i t y . Taylor depicts t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p h e u r i s t i c a l l y with two complementary yet competing "versions" of the modern i d e n t i t y : "Versions I and II have strong inner connections; and yet they animate very d i f f e r e n t judgements and feelings about modern society" (1985c, p. 273) and "give the background both to the affirmative and c r i t i c a l stances to our society" (p. 287). A glance at both versions w i l l show something of t h e i r c h a r a c t e r i s t i c and contrasting features. Version I i s associated with the affirmative stance towards technological and material growth, and the vast improvements (for some) i n the standard of l i v i n g of recent centuries. I t i s d i r e c t l y connected to the disengaged and i n t e r i o r i z e d understanding of r a t i o n a l i t y touched on i n the previous section, so d i f f e r e n t from the pre-modern view. As a r e s u l t of t h i s new d e f i n i t i o n of reason, the operations of nature come to be viewed i n mechanistic terms, and the attitude of man towards nature becomes very c o n t r o l l i n g and instrumental. Other consequences also follow. Success i n terms of the good i d e n t i t y takes a turn towards disengagement and i n t e r i o r i t y i n other ways. Freedom and autonomy — implying separation, s i n g u l a r i t y , difference — become valuable a t t r i b u t e s , factors i n which human excellence resides. 70 Material gain and productivity become, more than simply gains i n t h e i r own ri g h t , proofs of one's a b i l i t y to discern and achieve one's own needs with e f f i c a c y . They are the proof of personal worth, the conditions of successful i d e n t i t y . Disengaged r a t i o n a l i t y , and i t s manifestations i n productivity and control, comes to be valued not simply as a sign of r i g h t thinking or a means of bettering one's material l o t , but a sign of v i r t u e i n i t s e l f . Reason i s "past reason hunted" (Shakespeare, Sonnet 129) as a proof of one's goodness i n freedom from i l l u s i o n , s u p e r s t i t i o n , and the deceits of passion (Taylor, 1985c, 1988b). The grim Puritan, and the unbendingly l o g i c a l s c i e n t i s t , are stereotypes of t h i s tendency taken to extremes. But so are the self-made man and the lone entrepreneur other modern success s t o r i e s of the achievements of the Version I i d e n t i t y . Version II of the modern i d e n t i t y also involves the notions of i n t e r i o r i t y and disengagement, but i n a way that i s very d i f f e r e n t from Version I, and i n some ways very c r i t i c a l of i t . I t i s t i g h t l y interwoven into the c u l t u r a l values of modern society, but also gives the background to some of the strong moral protests against society — i t s thraldom to " l i m i t l e s s s t r i v i n g , . . . endless accumulation" (p. 1985c, p. 271), i t s rape of the environment, i t s exaltation of s c i e n t i f i c reasoning. 71 The location of i d e n t i t y within, on the Version II view, turns towards the c u l t i v a t i o n of sentiment, of the inner s e l f . We come to the idea that each man . . . has a nature within him. . . . [This] turns into the notion that our f u l f i l m e n t requires an inner exploration. From t h i s second version emerge the ideas of s e l f - e x p l o r a t i o n and f u l f i l m e n t which play such an important part i n our time; the need for s e l f -expression which i s also s e l f - r e a l i z a t i o n . (1985c, p. 272) Par t l y t h i s i s manifested i n the growing value of private space; privacy i s a p a r t i c u l a r l y and uniquely modern achievement. Partly i t i s also exhibited i n the c u l t i v a t i o n of sentiment, i n the chanqed nature of the i n s t i t u t i o n of marriaqe, for example, from dynastic or procreative arrangements, to "love r e l a t i o n s . . . meant to meet the strongest passions of emotional f u l f i l m e n t " (1985c, p. 272). Partly, however, i t also turns against the a t t r i b u t e s of Version I as key roadblocks i n the search f o r one's authentic inner nature. Version I, i n i t s urge to dominate, to control, to acquire, i s c r i t i c i z e d for imposing on us a " f a l s e consciousness"; i t i s "a form of enslavement to what i s secondary which blinds us to what i s primary" (1985c, p. 271). This version of i d e n t i t y , according to the Version II c r i t i q u e , i s d i v i s i v e , atomistic, and (yes) i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c . I t not only denies our true selves but also our communal nature, and our need to communicate openly, f r e e l y and harmoniously with others. 72 Both Versions, I and I I , share the same assumption that i d e n t i t y means i n t r i n s i c a l l y i n d i v i d u a l i d e n t i t y , and that the achievement of i d e n t i t y i s predicated on such notions as r i g h t s and l i b e r t y , and the uniqueness and s i n g u l a r i t y of each i n d i v i d u a l person. In t h i s way, they contrast markedly with the pre-modern i d e n t i t y . Yet, between them there i s a strong antagonism, which i s both cause and e f f e c t of widescale s o c i e t a l tensions, of a society at r i s k of destroying i t s e l f . To turn now to Maclntyre's assessment of the modern ("emotivist") i d e n t i t y , there are central p a r a l l e l s with Taylor, although they are expressed rather d i f f e r e n t l y . Identity, society, and big troubles are a l l i n t r i n s i c a l l y connected i n a s i m i l a r way; however, the same c o n f l i c t which Taylor depicts between Version I and Version II i s portrayed by Maclntyre on a more t h e o r e t i c a l l e v e l , i n the way that i t bifurcates modern i n t e l l e c t u a l t r a d i t i o n . A pertinent example w i l l show what t h i s means. One of Maclntyre's major claims i s that modern p o l i t i c a l debate i s tongue-tied by the "supposed opposition between individualism and c o l l e c t i v i s m , each appearing i n a v a r i e t y of d o c t r i n a l forms" (1981, p. 33). This opposition i s reminiscent of the opposition between Versions I and II — on one side i n d i v i d u a l autonomy and s e l f - i n t e r e s t versus, on the other, l i b e r a t i o n from c a p i t a l i s t f a l s e consciousness to 73 achieve an e g a l i t a r i a n d i s t r i b u t i o n of goods. These views diverge but both are marked by a deep, unspoken agreement that they are "the only two a l t e r n a t i v e modes of s o c i a l l i f e open to us" (1981, p. 33). Hence, for Maclntyre, marxism and i t s many heirs, even as the r i c h e s t source of modern s o c i a l c r i t i q u e "are themselves only one more set of symptoms disguised as a diagnosis" (p. 104). Ultimately, i n Maclntyre 7s view, both alternatives embody "the ethos of the d i s t i n c t i v e l y modern and modernising world, and . . . nothing less than a r e j e c t i o n of a large part of that ethos w i l l provide us with a r a t i o n a l l y and morally defensible standpoint from which to judge and to act" (1981, p. v i i ) . F. SUMMARY In t h i s chapter, the discussion of individualism i n adult education has been temporarily suspended i n order to provide a framework for considering the statements about individualism within a broader perspective. To t h i s end the views of two contemporary philosophers whose works deal c e n t r a l l y with the notion of the i n d i v i d u a l i n the context of modernity, have been explored at some length. E s s e n t i a l to the discussion i s the view that not only i s the i n d i v i d u a l a p e c u l i a r l y modern invention, but that i t i s interwoven with p e c u l i a r l y modern problems — one of the gravest, yet one of the hardest to see being how these problems are characterized. For Taylor, t h i s i s portrayed as a tension between attributes of the modern i d e n t i t y which both support and oppose the p r e v a i l i n g growth-orientation of modern c i v i l i z a t i o n . The modern i d e n t i t y equals Version I and Version II together, yet Version II i s c e n t r a l l y c r i t i c a l of the individualism (among other things) of Version I. In order to come to grips with the problems of modernity, for Taylor, Version I and Version I I , individualism and i t s c r i t i q u e must be viewed together. Maclntyre comes to a s i m i l a r conclusion — to understand the modern s i t u a t i o n , individualism and c o l l e c t i v i s m must be seen i n terms of t h e i r underlying partnership, as well as t h e i r overt antagonism. With these broader considerations i n mind, the following chapter returns to adult education, to see what l i g h t can now be shed upon the c r i t i q u e of individualism therein. 75 CHAPTER FIVE THE CRITIQUE IN CONTEXT A. INTRODUCTION In l i g h t of the framework developed i n the previous chapter, what can now be said about the c r i t i q u e of individualism i n adult education? How do the statements discussed i n Chapter Three measure up against t h i s broader context? To address such questions, to provide an analysis of the c r i t i q u e informed by Taylor's and Maclntyre's views, i s the purpose of the present chapter. B. SIMILARITIES The f i r s t point to observe i s that there are evident s i m i l a r i t i e s between the adult education l i t e r a t u r e and the l i t e r a t u r e of the anal y t i c framework. F i r s t , both bodies of l i t e r a t u r e express the view that the concept of the in d i v i d u a l i s a p a r t i c u l a r l y modern and p a r t i c u l a r l y Western manifestation of personal i d e n t i t y . The mutual concern i s expressed that there i s a tendency i n Western thought to universalize the Western view of the (ideally) autonomous, independent i n d i v i d u a l , and i n so doing to disregard i t s h i s t o r i c a l and c u l t u r a l d i s t i n c t i v e n e s s . 76 Second, the opinion i s also shared that the d i s t i n c t l y modern Western conception of the in d i v i d u a l i s l a r g e l y r e f l e c t e d i n and perpetuated by the i n s t i t u t i o n s of society. In the works of Taylor and Maclntyre, the " i n s t i t u t i o n s of society" are considered c o l l e c t i v e l y , including p o l i t i c s , economics, morals, and even marriage; although education i s not s p e c i f i c a l l y emphasized i t i s i m p l i c i t l y included. In the adult education l i t e r a t u r e , of course, the s i t u a t i o n i s the reverse — education i s a p a r t i c u l a r example of " i n s t i t u t i o n s of society" i n general. However, although they are looking from opposite ends of the telescope, the view i s the same from both ends that the i n d i v i d u a l , the s o c i a l system, and s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s such as education are cl o s e l y intertwined. A t h i r d s i m i l a r i t y between the adult education l i t e r a t u r e and the works of Taylor and Maclntyre i s that there i s a mutual expression of c r i t i c i s m that there are things which are wrong within modern society, and that at the heart of what i s wrong are things p a r t i c u l a r l y to do with the modern notion of the i n d i v i d u a l . Within the adult education c r i t i q u e , naturally enough, much attention i s given to problems i n how adult education i s practiced, provided, conceptualized: too much emphasis on the in d i v i d u a l , a narrow view of the i n d i v i d u a l , too l i t t l e acknowledgement of s o c i a l forces, and so on. Although i n contrast, these d e t a i l s are fa r too fin e for the scale i n which Taylor and Maclntyre map the modern landscape, the view that they are l o c a l problems which derive from more global s o c i e t a l concerns, f i t s the general contours of the Taylor/Maclntyre map. Held i n common i s the view that the concept of the i n d i v i d u a l , separated from and p r i v i l e g e d over more c o l l e c t i v e s o c i e t a l concerns and in t e r e s t s , i s at home i n a society with no v i s i o n , i n disarray. In t h i s regard, however, the adult education l i t e r a t u r e and the a n a l y t i c framework both converge and diverge. That the i n d i v i d u a l i s separated from the s o c i a l and given p r i o r i t y i s a point of convergence; so too i s the opinion that t h i s tendency i s related to deep problems, a lack of s o c i e t a l v i s i o n , i n the modern world. But according to Taylor and Maclntyre to make t h i s c r i t i q u e i s n ' t enough. They diverge from the adult education authors by taking t h e i r analysis one step further. In t h e i r view, the notion of the modern i n d i v i d u a l i s associated with a central ambiguity: I t i s not only a constituent feature of the status quo, i t i s also a constituent feature of the views which are most c r i t i c a l of the status quo. i n other words, not only does the notion of the i n d i v i d u a l give r i s e to "individualism", i t also gives r i s e to what could be c a l l e d "anti-individualism". In order to speak to any purpose about either stance they need 78 to be viewed together, i n terms not j u s t of t h e i r differences but also t h e i r close r e l a t i o n s h i p . From t h i s perspective, the c r i t i c a l statements about individualism i n adult education t e l l only h a l f the story. They c r i t i q u e the i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c tendencies within adult education and within modern society, but do not acknowledge how the same assumptions about the i n d i v i d u a l which underlie individualism also underlie and influence t h e i r own c r i t i c a l stance. What difference would i t make i f they did? On a broad conceptual l e v e l , greater i n t e g r i t y would be achieved. More s p e c i f i c a l l y , some l i g h t might be shed on matters of concern to the c r i t i c s such as why educational reform so often f a i l s to meet i t s transformative p o t e n t i a l ( G r i f f i n , 1983; Shor & F r e i r e , 1987): Their views (the c r i t i c s ' ) draw on the same assumptions about the i n d i v i d u a l that underlie the views and practices of which they are c r i t i c a l . The above point i s an important one and requires greater elaboration. I t can perhaps be brought out more c l e a r l y by h i g h l i g h t i n g the contrasts between how both l i t e r a t u r e s , above and beyond t h e i r treatment of the i n d i v i d u a l , cast t h e i r d i f f e r e n t diagnoses of the problems of individualism. 79 C. THE INDIVIDUAL AND INDIVIDUALISM RECONSIDERED In the adult education l i t e r a t u r e , individualism i s observed to have two main features: F i r s t , the c r i t i c i s m i s made that most mainstream or i n s t i t u t i o n a l l y located adult education, i n i t s conceptualization and i n i t s practice, operates on narrow, c u l t u r a l l y received assumptions about the nature of i n d i v i d u a l i d e n t i t y . Second, i t i s held that i n so doing, the s o c i e t a l dimension of education, including the s o c i a l construction of the i n d i v i d u a l , i s absent or obscured. According to the authors, these two features have a v a r i e t y of manifestations. Regarding the former, ideals of i n d i v i d u a l i d e n t i t y such as autonomy, independence, and s e l f - d i r e c t i o n are seen to have a very strong influence on shaping the nature of theory construction within the f i e l d . A p a r t i c u l a r l y acute expression of t h i s i s Knowles' w e l l -known notion of andragogy (Tennant, 1986; G r i f f i n , 1983; Lawson, 1985). The view that each i n d i v i d u a l i s a unique, singular being with an i n - b u i l t drive to s e l f - a c t u a l i z e , and that each i n d i v i d u a l i s (or ought to be) free to act upon his or her own choices and take r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for them are also strong underlying assumptions which influence the shape of adult education's goals, concepts and practices (Lawson, 1985). These t r a i t s , and the high value generally put on them, are acknowledged by the c r i t i c s to be c u l t u r a l expressions rather than facts of l i f e ; the tendency to construe them as the l a t t e r , within the mainstream education l i t e r a t u r e , i s regarded as a chief symptom of what i s most 80 i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c about the education system and the society i t r e f l e c t s . Regarding the second feature, the c r i t i c s argue that t h i s tendency i s accompanied by a lack of regard for the s o c i e t a l dimension of adult education — and of the education system generally — and that there i s a corresponding reductive fusion between education and learning ( G r i f f i n , 1983; Lawson, 1985; Rubenson, 1982). This not only disregards important s o c i e t a l influences on education such as knowledge, culture, and power ( G r i f f i n , 1983), i t also r e s t r i c t s the r o l e of education to one of reproducing e x i s t i n g s o c i a l conditions rather than acting to transform them. In turning to Taylor and Maclntyre, there i s i n many respects, as noted, a good deal of overlap. The t r a i t s which are seen to characterize the i n d i v i d u a l are the same: autonomy, independence, the drive to s e l f - a c t u a l i z e , and so on. The same high c u l t u r a l value i s seen to be accorded (ideally) to personal rig h t s and freedoms, and the same c r i t i c i s m i s expressed that i n modern society's p r i v i l e g i n g of the i n d i v i d u a l , a condition of widespread s o c i a l myopia has ensued. Yet i n t h e i r analyses of these concerns, Taylor and Maclntyre introduce a dimension into the picture which i s not present i n the adult education l i t e r a t u r e . From t h e i r perspective, there are central tensions associated with the notion of the individual which are manifested not only i n the i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c tendencies of modern society, but also i n views which protest against individualism. Taylor portrays t h i s i n terms of intra-mural tensions between Version I and Version II of the modern i d e n t i t y . Maclntyre characterizes i t i n terms of emotivism which gives r i s e both to the autonomous moral agent, and to the modern moral protestor (who can never win an argument) (p. 68-69). For both authors there are ambiguities within the modern i d e n t i t y which underlie both affirmative and c r i t i c a l stances towards contemporary society. From t h e i r standpoint, the strand of s o c i a l commentary which i s c r i t i c a l of individualism i s more a symptom of such ambiguity than a tenable diagnosis. An i l l u s t r a t i o n can be drawn by assigning Taylor's Versions I and II names rather than roman numerals, and providing them with some stock characters (see Maclntyre, 1981, pp. 26-29 for the ro l e of the "character" i n s o c i a l analysis. I t should be noted that such a technique e a s i l y runs to caricature and i s used here, gingerly, to demonstrate a point rather than to enact a lengthy drama). Version I, s i g n i f y i n g such interests as autonomy, s e l f -control, and ind i v i d u a l achievement can be c a l l e d the " i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c " version. Stock character types on t h i s side would be the Puritan, the u t i l i t a r i a n , the lone entrepreneur, the self-made man, the l a i s s e z - f a i r e l i b e r a l . 82 Version I I , s i g n i f y i n g such interests as self-discovery, self-expression, personal and s o c i a l harmony, and the protest against the f a l s e values of Version I, can be c a l l e d (for want of a word) the " a n t i - i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c " version. On t h i s side are the Rousseauian Romantic, the s o c i a l protestor, the environmentalist, the marxist c r i t i c (and Maclntyre would add the th e r a p i s t ) . Underlying Version I are the fundamental — and fundamentally modern — values of equality, r i g h t s , and l i b e r t y . Underlying Version II are s i m i l a r values. The modern notion of the i n d i v i d u a l gives r i s e to both individualism and the anti-individualism c r i t i q u e . Both views are interwoven into the f a b r i c of modernity and must be seen together i n order to understand "what i s r e a l l y going on" upon the stage of what Maclntyre c a l l s "the theatre of the present" (1981, p. 29). Stacked up against t h i s view, the c r i t i q u e of individualism i n adult education f a l l s i n with the a n t i -individualism l i n e of protest which Taylor and Maclntyre claim i s i t s e l f as rooted i n the modern i d e n t i t y as i s individualism. Educational individualism, so the protest goes, perpetuates e x i s t i n g i n e q u a l i t i e s of educational provision, promulgates a middle-class v i s i o n of the nature of i n d i v i d u a l i d e n t i t y , and serves the inte r e s t s of consumerism, capitalism, l i b e r a l i s m , the status quo. Adult education i s too often u t i l i z e d to reproduce these conditions; thus, i t s potential to bring about s o c i e t a l transformation through the l i b e r a t i o n of oppressed persons and classes from the f a l s e consciousness of the i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c values of modern society i s not r e a l i z e d . This, of course, i s to exaggerate the views within the c r i t i q u e of individualism to a hyperbolic degree, perhaps u n f a i r l y . However, the point of doing so i s to stress the extent to which they harmonize with Taylor's Version I I , as well as with Maclntyre's incl u s i o n into the modern moral scheme (and hence into i t s i n e f f e c t u a l i t y ) the concepts of ri g h t s , of protest, of unmasking (p. 6 6 ) . What i s notably lacking from the adult education c r i t i q u e i s the rest of the equation, which locates t h i s c r i t i c a l stance within the context of modernity. D. HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE There are other important points of contrast. For instance, central to Taylor and Maclntyre's argument, and la r g e l y absent (with the exception of Lawson) from the adult education c r i t i q u e , i s the location of t h e i r views within an h i s t o r i c a l perspective. The modern i n d i v i d u a l can best be understood as an h i s t o r i c a l development; the di s t i n c t i v e n e s s of the notion of ind i v i d u a l i d e n t i t y and i t s s o c i e t a l influence can best be demonstrated i n contrast to i t s h i s t o r i c a l antecedents. Both authors take some pains to draw t h i s out, and to underscore the importance of such a measure. Maclntyre postulates that much modern theory — since the Enlightenment — i s ill-equipped to interpret 84 r e a l i t y aright because i t s very equipment was born of or a f t e r the changes which wrought the modern s e l f , and the modern condition: History by now i n our culture means academic history, and academic his t o r y i s less than two centuries old. Suppose i t were the case that the catastrophe of which my hypothesis speaks had occurred before, or l a r g e l y before, the founding of academic history, so that the moral and other evaluative presuppositions of academic hi s t o r y derived from the forms of the disorder which i t brought about. (1981, pp. 3-4). Taylor asserts, i n a s i m i l a r vein, that the changed notion of i d e n t i t y , the " l i b e r a t i o n through o b j e c t i f i c a t i o n wrought by the cosmological revolution of the seventeenth century, has become for many the model of the agent's r e l a t i o n to the world and hence sets the very d e f i n i t i o n of what i t i s to be an agent" (1985a, p. 5). We as moderns are too deeply imbued with the notion of i n d i v i d u a l i d e n t i t y to be able to see what i t i s , without some e a r l i e r or other model of what i t i s n ' t with which to compare. Within the adult education l i t e r a t u r e , although the h i s t o r i c a l d i s t i n c t i v e n e s s of the modern in d i v i d u a l i s remarked upon as an a t t r i b u t e of individualism (Lawson, 1985; Shor & F r e i r e , 1987), no contrast i s seriously established; hence, t h i s point i s not explored i n a way that shows up the depth, the complexity, and the si g n i f i c a n c e of the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the i n d i v i d u a l and modernity. Perhaps i t i s asking too much to expect the adult education c r i t i c s to do so, since t h e i r concern i s with education not history, a f t e r a l l . Yet the point remains that to interpret the influence of 85 individualism on education i n i t s f u l l e s t sense requires a le s s perfunctory consideration of the h i s t o r i c a l development of the i n d i v i d u a l i n the modern age. E. THE DISENGAGED IDENTITY A further point of contrast concerns the matter touched upon i n the above quote from Taylor concerning the idea of " l i b e r a t i o n through o b j e c t i f i c a t i o n " so central to the modern understanding of the i n d i v i d u a l . This idea makes i t s e l f f e l t i n two ways. F i r s t , i t underlies the i d e a l of reason associated with the Enlightenment wherein, among other developments, " ' f a c t ' becomes value-free, ' i s ' becomes a stranger to 'ought'" (Maclntyre, 1981, p. 81). Again, Version I can be c a l l e d i n to represent the attendant ideals and assumptions of t h i s notion, as manifested within the modern i d e n t i t y . Also, however, i t underlies the " l i b e r a t i o n from f a l s e consciousness" notion which i s often associated with the Version II stance of s o c i a l protest or c r i t i q u e . This phrase generally refers to a change-of-consciousness process involving conscious disengagement from received b e l i e f s or opinions i n order to formulate a more c r i t i c a l l y aware perception of the world (Shor & F r e i r e , 1987). Within the adult and pre-adult education c r i t i q u e , regarding what to do about individualism once i t has been diagnosed as a problem within education and society, the nostrum "to become more 86 c r i t i c a l l y aware" i s prescribed repeatedly (Keddie, 1980; Lawson, 1985; Hargreaves, 1980; Tennant, 1986; Shor & F r e i r e , 1987). That t h i s p r e s c r i p t i o n has a p a r t i c u l a r c u l t u r a l d i s t i n c t i v e n e s s for the modern i d e n t i t y i s nowhere acknowledged by these authors. C r i t i c a l n e s s i n i t s e l f has been around at le a s t since Plato; however, i t s modern meaning — again since the Enlightenment — has a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y s e l f - r e f l e x i v e dimension which i s fundamental to the modern concept of the i n d i v i d u a l , to the modern understanding of thought i t s e l f . For Taylor and Maclntyre, the interplay between o b j e c t i f i e d reason and c r i t i c a l inquiry i s an essential factor i n shaping how the i n d i v i d u a l i s conceptualized and how the modern world i s understood which again, i n contrast, the c r i t i q u e of individualism i n adult education does not extend i t s e l f s u f f i c i e n t l y f a r to include. F. SUMMARY In summary, what can be said i n analysis of the c r i t i q u e of individualism i n adult education, as measured against the Taylor/Maclntyre yardstick, i s that i t provides an important but only a p a r t i a l assessment of some very complex issues. What these authors miss, most e s s e n t i a l l y , i s the point that there are deep s i m i l a r i t i e s which underlie some of the surface differences between what i s c r i t i q u e d and what the c r i t i q u e i t s e l f assumes. To miss t h i s point, for both Maclntyre and Taylor, i s to miss something 87 fundamental i n the struggle for answers to the question, "the permanent and ever-changing question, 'What are we today?'" (Foucault, 1988, p. 145). To take i t into account i s to take a necessary step past the p o l a r i z a t i o n between i n d i v i d u a l i s t ideals which "grow apace while feeding i n the opposite camp unreal dreams of transformation to an equal society" (Taylor, 1985c, p. 316) towards a more u n i f i e d view of the forces influencing education and society. Another point not addressed within the c r i t i q u e of individualism i n adult education — nor l a r g e l y addressed for that matter by Taylor or Maclntyre — i s the perplexing question of "what, then, should be done?" Problems have been raised, c r i t i q u e s have been reviewed and examined, but few words have been uttered towards solutions. To t h i s matter, and to the concluding matter of "implications for the f i e l d " , we s h a l l now turn. 88 CHAPTER SIX "SOLUTIONS" AND IMPLICATIONS A. INTRODUCTION "Solutions" i s not an easy or popular t o p i c at the best of times. I t i s not one which any of the authors discussed i n these pages have tackled foursquare or s a t i s f a c t o r i l y . Certainly, there i s no deus ex machina to be trundled i n from the wings to a r b i t r a t e and provide answers f o r the many complex questions which have been raised. However, there are some important points to consider i n the d i r e c t i o n of solutions, i f not the a r r i v a l there. These have some bearing on the implications of t h i s study for future d i r e c t i o n s i n adult education. B. NON-SOLUTIONS They can be approached, f i r s t , i n terms of things which are not solutions. One thing to emphasize, regarding the contrasts between the modern and the pre-modern i d e n t i t i e s drawn by both Maclntyre and Taylor, i s that there i s no suggestion that we ought to — or even could — cast aside the modern i d e n t i t y and re-assume some feudal or c l a s s i c a l Athenian way of l i f e . Maclntyre i s somewhat at f a u l t i n t h i s respect, showing a tendency to i d e a l i z e t r a d i t i o n a l s o c i e t i e s , without acknowledging the often less-than-ideal features (slavery, serfdom, r i t u a l murder) which have at times pertained within such s o c i e t i e s . 89 Taylor's approach i s somewhat more circumspect. For him, the purpose of the pre-modern/modern contrast i s to show that i n the t r a n s i t i o n from pre-modern to modern views of l i f e and i d e n t i t y there have been great gains but also t e r r i b l e losses, of which there needs to be a more acute reckoning. Much contemporary discussion of issues concerning i d e n t i t y , society, and the problems of our day does not come to grips with the deep dilemmas involved with the very issues i t debates (1985c, 1988a). He further stresses (which Maclntyre further tends not to) that we "can't j u s t jump out of the [modern] condition" (1988a, p. 14). The notion of i d e n t i t y i s too t i g h t l y bound up with our own i d e n t i t i e s , thought processes, fundamental values, and s o c i a l forms to be authentically repudiated. No c r i t i c i s m of individualism or i t s influence i s complete without acknowledging t h i s condition of our existence. So, i t i s no solution to suggest that the modern id e n t i t y simply be cast aside. Additionally, i t i s no solution simply to prescribe, as the adult education c r i t i q u e tends to, greater c r i t i c a l awareness. This may indeed be the way to greater understanding, but i t i s not without a r o l e to play i n the shaping of the modern i n d i v i d u a l . Therein may l i e l i b e r a t i o n , but i t i s not so much a l i b e r a t i o n from modern concerns as a l i b e r a t i o n into them. This i s another dilemma which also underlies much 90 modern debate and although i t gives no answers (maybe the opposite) i n i t s e l f , i t at l e a s t needs to be surfaced i n order to move towards them. C. PROTO-SOLUTIONS So the way towards solutions involves a slow, labourious process towards better a r t i c u l a t i o n of the questions. For Maclntyre and Taylor t h i s i s a mutually urgent point. Both would assert unequivocally about the state of modern theory generally that "we have not yet developed the concepts we need to come to terms with [things] f r u i t f u l l y " (Taylor, 1985c, p. 248). They move i n rather divergent directions from t h i s agreed upon stance. Again the perspective of Taylor casts a more favourable l i g h t . Maclntyre, dour Scotsman that he i s , provides a bleak prognosis. In assessing the mood of the times as emotivist, he takes the view that having become emotivist i n our perspective we have become emotivist i n our r e a l i t y . He "tends to take modern society at the face value of i t s own dominant theories, as heading for runaway atomism and breakup" (Taylor, 1988a, p. 6). Taylor, on the other hand, thinks "that we are far more ' A r i s t o t e l i a n 7 than we allow, that hence our practice i s i n some s i g n i f i c a n t way less based on pure disengaged freedom and atomism than we r e a l i z e " (1988a, p. 6-7), and that theory to a large extent gets i t wrong i n accounting for what i n a c t u a l i t y i s t r u l y 91 going on. Thus the f i r s t step i n the d i r e c t i o n of solutions involves t h i s basic r e a l i z a t i o n . In t h i s regard, the works of other thinkers such as Gadamer (1986) and Foucault (1988a) who explore modern issues i n terms of non-modern and non-Western contexts, signpost the way i n which adult education thinkers might g a i n f u l l y follow. D. IMPLICATIONS FOR ADULT EDUCATION If the considerations raised by Taylor and Maclntyre have any veracity, then the broad implications for adult education include, f i r s t and foremost, that i t has a l o t of conceptual work to do. The present state of theory — affirmative and c r i t i c a l — gives a f a r from complete or accurate picture of the personal and s o c i a l r e a l i t i e s about which i t theorizes. That adult education i s d e f i c i e n t i n the area of conceptual foundations i s nothing new (Rubenson, 1982), however i t i s a point which cannot be stressed too often i n order that, slowly and p a i n f u l l y , something may be done about i t . From the c r i t i c a l statements about individualism i n adult education, i t i s apparent that "adult c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s " approaches to theory development, and to attendant modes of educational practice and provision, provide only a one-dimensional understanding of i n d i v i d u a l i d e n t i t y , and show 92 i n s u f f i c i e n t insight into the s o c i a l dimension of education, including most es p e c i a l l y the manner i n which i d e n t i t y i s s o c i a l l y and h i s t o r i c a l l y constructed. In t h i s respect, the c r i t i q u e of individualism points out some serious l i m i t a t i o n s i n the way i n which adult education i s thought about and c a r r i e d out. However, the c r i t i q u e i t s e l f also has a long way to go. I t takes up some important issues about the nature of i n d i v i d u a l i d e n t i t y and the influence of t h i s on education as an i n s t i t u t i o n within society, but doesn't go f a r enough to do j u s t i c e to the underlying issues with which i t i s concerned. C r u c i a l l y , i t does not acknowledge the deep association between i t s own perceptions and the issues i t c r i t i q u e s . Without t h i s acknowledgement, i t lacks an important understanding of the strong influence of c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y modern assumptions on shaping both affirmative and c r i t i c a l points of view. With i t , the debates i n education about in d i v i d u a l versus society in t e r e s t s (Lawson, 1985; Hargreaves, 1980) and about the r o l e of education to transform or perpetuate e x i s t i n g s o c i a l conditions might move beyond debate towards more communicative dialogue. Taking i t into account leads one to conclude, with Taylor and Maclntyre, that the dominant theories within the f i e l d , as within the contemporary s o c i a l sciences generally, 93 need to be seriously questioned. With t h i s i n mind, some of the t h e o r e t i c a l pre-occupations within adult education might p r o f i t from being put aside, or approached from other-than-dominant angles. For instance, the notion of andragogy has doubtless made important contributions to the f i e l d , but i t s conceptual l i m i t a t i o n s and c u l t u r a l assumptions are clear, and a rethinking of "adult c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s " from a much wider view i s c l e a r l y needed. In the end, of course, i t i s not simply the topic of individualism per se. — or "adult c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s " or even adult education — which i s the central focus of concern. The problems which Taylor and Maclntyre r a i s e , and which the adult and pre-adult education authors attempt to t u s s l e with i n a narrower context, have to do with how we think, and how we think about ourselves as individuals and members of communities. What i s needed within adult education e s p e c i a l l y — as a f i e l d struggling with i t s own d i s c i p l i n a r y i d e n t i t y — i s to open l i n e s of inquiry to include other d i s c i p l i n e s , other perspectives, other cultures than our own, other times than modernity. To determine what i s going on within the f i e l d , i t i s necessary to cast an an a l y t i c eye on what i s going on without. 94 REFERENCES Apple, M. (1980). Ideology and curriculum. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. Chene, A. (1983) . The concept of autonomy i n adult education: A philosophical discussion. Adult Education  Quarterly. 34(1), 38-47. Darkenwald, G., & Merriam, S. (1982). Adult education:  Foundations of practice. New York: Harper & Row. Foucault, M. (1988). The p o l i t i c a l technology of in d i v i d u a l s . In L. Martin, H. Gutman & P. Hutton (Eds.), Technologies of the s e l f (pp. 145-162). Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press. F r e i r e , P. (1970) . Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York: Continuum. Gadamer, H.G. (1975). Truth and method. New York: Seabury Press. Gadamer, H.G. (1982). Reason i n the age of science. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. 95 Gadamer, H.G. (1986) . The idea of the good i n Platonic- A r i s t o t e l i a n philosophy. New Haven: Yale University Press. G r i f f i n , C. (1983) . Curriculum theory i n adult and l i f e l o n g  education. London: Croom Helm. Hargreaves, D. (1980). A s o c i o l o g i c a l c r i t i q u e of individualism i n education. B r i t i s h Journal of  Educational Studies. 28(3), 187-198. Hartree, A. (1984). Malcolm Knowles' theory of andragogy: A c r i t i q u e . International Journal of Lif e l o n g Education. 3(3), 203-210. Hollinger, R. (1985) . Hermeneutics and practic e. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press. Kastner, A. (1988). Lifelong education and s o c i a l p o l i c y :  Ideals and r e a l i t i e s . Unpublished Master's thesis, University of B r i t i s h Columbia. Keddie, N. (1980). Adult education: An ideology of individualism. In J . Thompson (Ed.), Adult education  for a change (pp. 45-64). London: Hutchinson. 96 Law, M. (1982). The 'new sociology of education' and neo-Marxist perspectives: Some implications f o r adult education. Unpublished manuscript. Lawson, K. (1985). Deontological l i b e r a l i s m : The p o l i t i c a l philosophy of l i b e r a l adult education. International  Journal of Lifelong Education. 4(3), 219-227. Lukes, S. (1973). Individualism. Oxford: B a s i l Blackwell. Maclntyre, A. (1971). Against the self-images of the age. London: Duckworth. Maclntyre, A. (1981). After v i r t u e . London: Duckworth. Midgely, M. (1984). Sex and personal i d e n t i t y : The Western i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c t r a d i t i o n . Encounter. 63(1), 50-55. Misgeld, D. (1985). Education and c u l t u r a l invasion: C r i t i c a l s o c i a l theory, education as i n s t r u c t i o n , and the "Pedagogy of the oppressed". In J . Forester (Ed.), C r i t i c a l theory and public l i f e (pp. 76-118). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. Paterson, R.W.K. (1979). Values, education and the adult. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. 97 Rorty, A. (Ed.)- (1976). The i d e n t i t i e s of persons. Berkeley: University of C a l i f o r n i a Press. Rubenson, K. (1988). Sociology of adult education. In S. Merriam & P. Cunningham (Eds.), 1990 handbook of adult  education. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. In press. Rubenson, K. (1982). Adult education research: In quest of a map of the t e r r i t o r y . Adult Education. 32(2), 57-74. Shor, I., & Fr e i r e , P. (1987). A pedagogy for l i b e r a t i o n . South Hadley, MA: Bergin & Garvey. Strawson, P.F. (1959). Individuals. London: Methuen. Taylor, C. (1985a). Language and human agency. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Taylor, C. (1985b). The person. In M. Carrithers, S. C o l l i n s , & S. Lukes (Eds.), The category of the person (pp. 257-281). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Taylor, C. (1985c). Philosophy and the human sciences. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 98 Taylor, C. (1988a). The inner s e l f . Paper presented at the Vancouver I n s t i t u t e , Vancouver, Canada (February, 1988) . Taylor, C. (1988b). Ju s t i c e a f t e r v i r t u e . Paper presented at the P o l i t i c a l Science Department, University of B r i t i s h Columbia (February, 1988). Tennant, M. (1986). An evaluation of Knowles' theory of adult learning. International Journal of L i f e l o n g  Education. 5(2), 113-122. Young, M.F.D. (Ed.). Knowledge and control. London: C o l l i e r -Macmillan. Youngman, F. (1986). Adult education and s o c i a l i s t pedagogy. London: Croom Helm. 

Cite

Citation Scheme:

        

Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics

Share

Embed

Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                        
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            src="{[{embed.src}]}"
                            data-item="{[{embed.item}]}"
                            data-collection="{[{embed.collection}]}"
                            data-metadata="{[{embed.showMetadata}]}"
                            data-width="{[{embed.width}]}"
                            async >
                            </script>
                            </div>
                        
                    
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:
https://iiif.library.ubc.ca/presentation/dsp.831.1-0055842/manifest

Comment

Related Items