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Adult education and learning: a pluralistic research field?
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Education and Adult Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences. (Vuxenpedagogik och Folkbildning)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9916-8705
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Education and Adult Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences. (Vuxenpedagogik och Folkbildning)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3241-0189
2019 (English)In: Mapping out the research field of adult education and learning / [ed] Andeas Fejes, Erik Nylander, Cham: Springer, 2019, 1, p. 119-137Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

What the field of adult education research is and how it can be described has been a debated issue over the decades. Several scholars argue that the field today is heterogeneous, borrowing theories and methods from a range of disciplines. In this chapter, we take such statements as a starting point for empirical analysis. In what ways could it be argued that the field is pluralistic rather than monolithic; heterogeneous rather than homogenous? Drawing on bibliographic data of the top cited articles in three main adult education journals between 2005 and 2012, we illustrate how the citation patterns have tendencies of homogeneity when it comes to the geographical country of authorship, since the USA, UK, Australia and Canada dominate, as well as the research methods adopted, since qualitative approaches have near total dominance. Furthermore, there is a tendency to adopt similar theoretical approaches, since sociocultural perspectives, critical pedagogy and post-structuralism represent more than half of the articles in our sample. At the same time, the results of our analysis indicate signs of scholarly pluralism, for instance, in terms of authorship, since both early career researchers and established researchers are represented among the top cited publications. We conclude the chapter by arguing that empirical analysis of publication and citation patterns is important to further the development of reflexivity within the field, not least for early career researchers, who might benefit from knowledge about what has been recognized among peers as worth citing in recent times.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cham: Springer, 2019, 1. p. 119-137
Series
Lifelong Learning Book Series ; 24
Keywords [en]
adult education, content analysis, bibliometrics
Keywords [sv]
Vuxenutbildning, Bibliometri
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-157154DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-10946-2_7Libris ID: z8tdg0c7wqhr5d7lISBN: 9783030109455 (print)ISBN: 9783030109462 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-157154DiVA, id: diva2:1319125
Available from: 2019-05-29 Created: 2019-05-29 Last updated: 2019-11-12

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Fejes, AndreasNylander, Erik

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