Lifelong Learning and Ontological Security: Blending of Concerns and their Expense

H. Eylem Kaya, Josef Zukal


The aim of this paper is to find out how the content which is supposed to be transmitted within the framework of Lifelong Learning Programme of EU is defined in the conditions of reflexive and risk modernity, where the knowledge has quite an unstable nature. Other questions are: how this learning, the conditions in which it works, and the knowledge that it transmits are reflected at the level of individual everydayness, namely in relation to late modern necessity of individually formulated Self-identity; and what role lifelong learning plays or could play on this level and how it corresponds with the system needs. Some kind of loose discourse analysis of Memorandum on Lifelong Learning 2000 is used to answer these questions, therefore the paper works with numerous quotations from this document. Findings in the form of six notes suggest that the narrowest definition of this knowledge, which is possible to obtain from this policy paper and especially its “six messages,” is employability. The system tries to gain control over the individuals through the capturing of resources they use in order to ensure the meaning of the surrounding world and maintain the sense of ontological security, while the aim is to produce an individual that can be used to improve the system’s competitiveness and effectiveness. Nevertheless, an individual achieves ontological security by the very same means and there is a certain interfusion of individual identity and system interests.


self-narrative; neoliberalism; education; knowledge; late modernity; EU

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