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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/32907

Title: The Effects of Cultural and Economic Capital on both Formal and Informal Learning for the Workplace
Authors: Stowe, Susan Lynn
Advisor: Livingstone, David W.
Department: Adult Education and Counselling Psychology
Keywords: education
adult education
informal learning
self directed learning
social class
Social Reproduction Theory
continued education
post secondary education
Issue Date: 31-Aug-2012
Abstract: The aim of the thesis was to explore the magnitude of inequity in accessibility to initial formal education, continuing adult education, and work-related informal learning for the workplace. The two main issues that the thesis attempted to determine is whether social background characteristics that affect initial educational attainment continue to influence participation in adult education and work-related informal learning. More specifically, this research focused on three main questions: First, to what extent does parents’ social background influence educational attainment levels for Canadians from different generations? Second, to what extent does parents’ social background influencing participation in adult education for their offspring beyond the effects of an individual’s own social background? And, third, to what extent does parents' social background have on their offspring’s participation in informal learning for the workplace beyond the effects of an individual's own social class background? A secondary data quantitative analysis was carried out on the data collected in the 2004 Work and Lifelong Learning (WALL) survey. Both crosstab analysis and structural equation analysis were used to obtain an overview of inequities in participation in formal education and informal learning and to test the applicability of Bourdieu’s social reproduction theory. Overall, the findings of this thesis indicate that social reproduction occurs not only through the formal education system, but also through the adult education system. More specifically, parents’ education continues to be a good predictor of the level of education attained by offspring. Moreover, one’s level of education continued to be a predictor of participation in adult education. Social reproduction was not present for work-related informal learning. In fact, those from low incomes were more likely to engage in informal learning than those from high incomes. These findings indicate that despite level of cultural and economic capital, the majority of Canadians engage in a learning activity. It is apparent that structures that are present in our formal education system continue to advantage students with high cultural and economic capital; however, work-related informal learning is accessible to all.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/32907
Appears in Collections:Doctoral

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