© 2011

Gendered Choices

Learning, Work, Identities in Lifelong Learning

  • Sue Jackson
  • Irene Malcolm
  • Kate Thomas

Part of the Lifelong Learning Book Series book series (LLLB, volume 15)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages 1-1
  2. Learning Pathways—Gendered Learning

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 11-11
    2. Sue Jackson, Irene Malcolm, Kate Thomas
      Pages 1-9
    3. Irene Malcolm, Sue Jackson, Kate Thomas
      Pages 13-17
    4. Clem Herman, Barbara Hodgson, Gill Kirkup, Elizabeth Whitelegg
      Pages 53-68
    5. Irene Malcolm, Sue Jackson, Kate Thomas
      Pages 85-86
  3. The Agenda for Gender in Workplace Learning

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 87-87
    2. Kate Thomas, Sue Jackson, Irene Malcolm
      Pages 89-93
    3. Kate Thomas, Sue Jackson, Irene Malcolm
      Pages 163-163
  4. Identity, Intimacy and In/Formal Pathways

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 165-165
    2. Sue Jackson, Irene Malcolm, Kate Thomas
      Pages 167-171
    3. Alison Fuller, Rosalind Foskett, Brenda Johnston, Karen Paton
      Pages 189-208

About this book


This important book breaks new ground in addressing issues of gendered learning in different contexts across the (adult) life span at the start of the 21st century.  Adult learning sits within a shifting landscape of educational policy, profoundly influenced by the skills agenda, by complex funding policies, new qualifications and the widening/narrowing participation debate.  The book is unique in highlighting the centrality of gendered choices to these developments which shape  participation in and experiences of lifelong learning.  

Gendered Choices critically examines the continued expansion of a skills-based approach in areas of lifelong learning, including career decisions, professional identities and informal networks. It explores key intersections of adult learning from a gender perspective: notably  participation, workplace learning and informal pathways.

Drawing on research from a range of contexts, Gendered Choices demonstrates that for women the public/private spaces of work and home are often conflated, although the gendering of ‘choice’ has largely been ignored by policy makers.

The themes of the book bring together some of these critical issues, explored through the multiple and fractured identities which constitute gendered lives.  The book addresses these in an international context, with contributions from Canada, Spain and Iran that provide a wider international perspective on shared issues.



adult adult learning career class educational policy formal learning gender gendered learning gendering choice informal informal learning lifelong learning networks participation race skills women learning workbased learning workplace workplace learning

Editors and affiliations

  • Sue Jackson
    • 1
  • Irene Malcolm
    • 2
  • Kate Thomas
    • 3
  1. 1.Birkbeck University of LondonBirkbeck Institute for Lifelong LearningLondonUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.University of DundeeSchool of EducationDundeeUnited Kingdom
  3. 3., Schools and Colleges Partnership ServiceUniversity of the West of EnglandBristolUnited Kingdom

Bibliographic information


From the reviews:

“This research contributes to the debates surrounding the value society places on youth and gender specific worth. … Gendered Choices, provides great insight into the policy issues that support the dominant culture and its consideration of women as autonomous in their decision making, participation, and identify in education and lifelong learning. … Classes centered around feminist theory, adult learning development, and international and comparative education would be greatly served by this collection of thoughtful and thorough essays, research articles and political commentary.” (Brenda Firestone and Perdeta Bush, Sex Roles, Vol. 67, 2012)

“This book ‘reflects a variety of approaches to gender-sensitive research’ … in lifelong learning. … A very stimulating collection of essays which deserves to be read widely and reflected on beyond the academic world of lifelong learning – especially by policy-makers.” (Alan Rogers, International Review of Education, Vol. 58 (3), 2012).