Adult community education as sites for the development of social capital in a culturally diverse society

Townsend, Robert A (2009) Adult community education as sites for the development of social capital in a culturally diverse society. PhD thesis, Victoria University.


This research investigates the roles that adult community education (ACE) providers and programs play in the development of social and cultural networks for people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds in a regional community context. Within the milieu of the Shire of Campaspe, a rural area in northern Victoria, there has emerged the issue of ‘new’ social diversity due to recent decades of internal population mobility and international migration to regional areas. Australian regional communities like Campaspe are growing and diversifying within a complex framework of ecological, economic, historical, social and human factors. This thesis explores the main themes emerging from this one regional context where adult education plays a role in facilitating social capital development for people from diverse cultural backgrounds. It shows individuals from a range of cultural backgrounds utilise adult education as a space to explore their own social and cultural isolation. Migration experiences, gender, life-stage and length of residence in Australia, all influenced the ACE experiences of the individuals who participated in the research. ACE organisations were able, in limited ways to respond to the needs of local adult learners but the providers also experienced difficulty in adapting to the complex individual needs of local people.

Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1301 Education Systems
Historical > FOR Classification > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Education
Keywords adult community education, cultural diversity, Victoria, social networks, cultural networks, regional communities, Campaspe, migrants, regional communities
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