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    Learning to Care: Adult Education and Gendered Occupations


    Kenny, Enda (2006) Learning to Care: Adult Education and Gendered Occupations. Masters thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    Abstract

    This study concerns second chance education initiatives and gendered employment. The focus of the research is on women re-engaging in adult education who chose professional childcare as a vocational option. Childcare as a gendered, low pay, low status occupation yields poor rewards for women who have invested in a childcare qualification. Educating women for low paid work risks reproducing existing social hierarchies. Policy and provision in second chance adult education are examined in light of their broader economic and social objectives. The study concludes that although economic objectives inform service provision adult education has not lost sight of its social goals. However, adult education providers do not consider the service has a responsibility in relation to links with gendered low pay employment. The study establishes that the childcare industry is a gendered low pay occupational sector. Government policy views childcare as a labour market activation strategy contributing to its poor status. Women chose childcare because it offers part-time flexible employment which fits in with caring responsibilities, while reflecting caring aspects of their identities. Social and cultural capital is identified as important factors in influencing the women’s ability to use childcare as a stepping stone to more equitable employment.

    Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
    Keywords: Adult Education; Gendered Occupations;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Adult and Community Education
    Item ID: 5308
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2014 09:46
    URI:

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