Saturday, March 03, 2007

The Uses of Literacy

Last week the Guardian commemorated the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Richard Hoggart’s The Uses of Literacy:

Fifty years ago this month, an obscure lecturer in Hull University's adult education department was surprised to find his opinions prominently displayed across the pages of several popular newspapers.

As an obscure lecturer in Hull University’s successor to the Adult Education Department, the Centre for Lifelong Learning, I felt a pang of pride. This post is not about the book, it is just to celebrate the fact that, unlike so many Adult Education departments, we are still here and, for the time being, thriving. The 80’s and 90’s were difficult decades for all Adult Education much was lost. With the election of Labour in 1997, many of whose leading lights owed their careers to Adult Education, I thought that at least the damage would stop. Instead it has continued apace. It is a disillusion and disappointment that I find hard to forgive.

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