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Globalisation, the Learning Society and Comparative Education Author(s): Peter Jarvis
Source: Comparative Education, Vol. 36, No. 3, Special Number (23): Comparative Education for the Twenty-First Century, (Aug., 2000), pp. 343-355
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3099622
Accessed: 19/08/2008 22:26
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Comparative Education Volume 36 No. 3 2000 pp. 343-355

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PETER JARVIS
Extending the logic of industrialism thesis, it is argued here that the world now has a global infrastructure,information technology empowered by those who control capital. Globalisation has resulted in the development of learning societies as a superstructural phenomenon. Four dimensions of the learning society are analysed in this article and the implications of these are explored for the study of comparative education. The thesis of the article is that the field of comparatives is broaderthan education itself, and that reasonsfor comparative studies have changed little since early adult education comparativists met in 1966 and agreed on a number of major themes. ABSTRACT

In an earlier article in this journal (Jarvis, 1999a), I argued that the universities had to respond to the international division of labour generated through the forces of globalisation in innovative ways. In a sense, that argument reflected the one contained in the logic of industrialisation thesis, first propounded by Kerr et al. in the 1960s (Kerr et al, 1973). While that thesis was not totally correct, I want to expand upon that article here and argue that the logic of industrialism thesis contained a basis from which to understand globalisation and, consequently, the learning society. However, the learning society is a contested concept, so that it is also necessary to understand it if we are to examine ways by which comparative education might relate to it.

The general thesis of this article is that comparative education needs to continue to adapt and to find its place in studies of the newly emerging learning society, one which is far broader than the educational institutions themselves. Indeed, there are many other providers of learning opportunities than education. But, significantly, the learning society itself might be regarded as an object for comparative study, as the following argument demonstrates. Consequently, the article has three parts; the first examines the process of globalisation, the second analyses different interpretations, or dimensions, of the learning society and, finally, comparative education is examined within the context of the learning society. The Processes

of Globalisation

The logic of industrialisation thesis was first published at the...
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