The Knowledge Economy and Lifelong Learning

A Critical Reader

  • D. W. Livingstone
  • David Guile

Part of the The Knowledge Economy and Education book series (KNOW, volume 4)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxi
  2. General Critiques

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. D. W. Livingstone, David Guile
      Pages 3-5
    3. Kenneth Carlaw, Les Oxley, Paul Walker, David Thorns, Michael Nuth
      Pages 7-42
    4. Chris Warhurst, Paul Thompson
      Pages 43-55
    5. D. W. Livingstone
      Pages 85-116
    6. Phillip Brown, Hugh Lauder
      Pages 117-146
    7. Paul Duguid
      Pages 147-162
    8. Peter Kennedy
      Pages 163-183
  3. Specific Challenges

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 185-185
    2. D. W. Livingstone, David Guile
      Pages 187-190
    3. Alison Fuller, Lorna Unwin, Alan Felstead, Nick Jewson, Konstantinos Kakavelakis
      Pages 191-206
    4. Monika Nerland
      Pages 207-228
    5. Beth A. Bechky
      Pages 229-256
    6. Arthur Bakker, Celia Hoyles, Phillip Kent, Richard Noss
      Pages 257-275
    7. Catherine Casey
      Pages 317-333
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 349-360

About this book


This book presents some of the most trenchant critical analyses of the widespread claims for the recent emergence of a knowledge economy and the attendant need for greater lifelong learning. The book contains two sections: first, general critiques of the limits of current notions of a knowledge economy and required adult learning, in terms of historical comparisons, socio-political construction and current empirical evidence; secondly, specific challenges to presumed relations between work requirements and learning through case studies in diverse current workplaces that document richer learning processes than knowledge economy advocates intimate. Many of the leading authors in the field are represented. There are no other books to date that both critically assess the limits of the notion of the knowledge economy and examine closely the relation of workplace restructuring to lifelong learning beyond the confines of formal higher education and related educational policies. This reader provides a distinctive overview for future studies of relations between work and learning in contemporary societies beyond caricatures of the knowledge economy. The book should be of interest to students following undergraduate or postgraduate courses in most social sciences and education, business and labour studies departments, as well as to policy makers and the general public concerned about economic change and lifelong learning issues. D. W. Livingstone is Canada Research Chair in Lifelong Learning and Work and Professor Emeritus at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. David Guile is Professor of Education and Work at the Institute of Education, University of London.


lifelong learning knowledge economy

Editors and affiliations

  • D. W. Livingstone
    • 1
  • David Guile
    • 2
  1. 1.University of TorontoOntarioCanada
  2. 2.University of LondonLondonUK

Bibliographic information