Culture, consumption, and adult education: Refashioning consumer education for adults as a political site using a cultural studies framework

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The field of adult education exists within a context of consumer capitalism, although adult educators have failed to acknowledge how central consumption is to today's society. Traditional consumer education has typically focused on technical skills, and thus positions itself outside the social, political, and cultural realms. In this article, the author retheorizes consumer education into a more critical enterprise using the framework of cultural studies. She argues that consumer education is a political site that creates consumers with a range of reactions to consumer culture. From this perspective, consumer education for adults is reconceived to include a variety of informal sites of learning including those focusing on curbing consumption, fighting consumer capitalism, and "jamming" corporate-sponsored consumer culture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-181
Number of pages17
JournalAdult Education Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2005
Externally publishedYes



  • Consumer education
  • Consumption
  • Critical pedagogy
  • Cultural studies
  • Politics of education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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