Highlights of Consciousness-Raising: Views and Interpretations

Aušra Kolbergytė, Valdonė Indrašienė


Consciousness-raising seems to be a major indicator for educational policy and formation of a mature society. Therefore, the aim of this article is to reveal the meaning of consciousness-raising in a theoretical context. Accordingly, the goals of the research are formulated as such: to analyze the variety of concepts of consciousness-raising and to discuss its main assumptions and factors. Several conclusions have been singled out after analysis of philosophical, pedagogical and psychological scientific literature. First, the ambiguous concept of consciousness-raising is associated with knowledge about reality, the ability to monitor, understand, responsibly analyze ourselves, the surrounding environment, our own beliefs, values; also to analyze the meanings and outcomes of our behaviour. Usually consciousness is identified with the ability to think critically: to bracket existing knowledge and awareness, be able to sort out facts and opinions, analyze and interpret reality problems and ambiguities, critically question the assumptions of social phenomena, and using our own experience to promote both transformations of perceptions and take active steps in changing reality, reforming society and seeking emancipation. Second, consciousness manifests through self-reflection, transformation of values and alteration of an unsatisfying social environment. It overwhelms everlasting personal spiritual and social growth with the ultimate aim to develop a mature personality. Consciousness covers all spheres of human life (starting with self-directed learning and self-realization of professional activities, moving on to relationships with family, friends, and ultimately the public) and is connected with self-building and selfmanagement. Third, self-directed learning is very important in consciousness-raising and is an integral part of the educational process. The need for consciousness-raising occurs only when a person is unsatisfied with the current situation and seeks change. Major factors of consciousness-raising are excluded, such as specific area (condition, context, or circumstances) lack of information on particular social issue and opportunity for discussion and reflection.


consciousness-rising; awareness-rising; self-directed learning; critical thinking; critical consciousness; self-awareness; self-consciousness

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"Social Work" ISSN online 2029-2775 / ISSN print 1648-4789