Adult learning and wellbeing: Between body politics and the body politic

Aileen Ackland, Callum McGregor, Gary Roberts

Research output: Contribution to conferenceUnpublished paper


Inspired by the recent experience of the Scottish referendum on independence, this paper explores different theoretical lenses through which to analyse the relationships between wellbeing, political participation and adult learning. Wellbeing is a preoccupation of lifelong learning policy internationally; its conceptual slipperiness lends it political appeal across a broad range of ideological interests. Linked to consumerist pursuits or, in policy, used to assess the mind and body as economic resources, current discourse equates wellbeing with individualised body politics. However, it can also be understood as a collective property of the body politic. Commentary on the referendum experience has celebrated the renewed political engagement as both revitalisation of individuals and democracy. Exploring a spectrum from liberal humanism to posthumanism, we ask what each theoretical lens could bring to an analysis of the Scottish experience and to an understanding of adult learning as an ambivalent process between body politics and the body politic.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
Publication statusUnpublished - 2015
EventESREA conference Between Global and Local - Ljubljana, Slovenia
Duration: 18 Jun 201520 Jun 2015


ConferenceESREA conference Between Global and Local


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