Popular fictions as critical adult education

Christine Jarvis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter discusses the popular fictions that adults encounter during their everyday lives as forms of critical adult education. It argues that engaging in close textual analyses of popular fictions is an educational project. Textual analysis that uses an educational lens to evaluate the educational potential, purposes and strategies of popular fictions can illuminate them as critical educational curriculum in terms of content and teaching methods that could be attributed to them. It can also connect this content and these teaching strategies with the shifting social, historical and ideological contexts within which they are located. Such work is of necessity interdisciplinary, drawing on the methodologies and theoretical frameworks found within literary, film and television studies. The argument is illustrated with a discussion of examples from the work of Barbara Kingsolver, Joss Whedon and Suzanne Collins.

Writing is also a tool you can use your whole life: to help people, make them laugh, change their minds. You can do it for people in faraway countries, even for people who haven’t been born yet. Writing is a way to live forever. Barbara Kingsolver (n.d.)
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave International Handbook of Adult and Lifelong Education and Learning
EditorsMarcella Milana, Susan Webb, John Holford, Richard Waller, Peter Jarvis
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan UK
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781137557834
ISBN (Print)9781137557827
Publication statusPublished - 11 Oct 2017


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