Some have credit cards and others have giro cheques: 'individuals' and 'people' as lifelong learners in late modernity

Authors
Citation
A. Piper, Some have credit cards and others have giro cheques: 'individuals' and 'people' as lifelong learners in late modernity, DISCOURS S, 11(4), 2000, pp. 515-542
Citations number
47
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Communication
Journal title
DISCOURSE & SOCIETY
ISSN journal
0957-9265 → ACNP
Volume
11
Issue
4
Year of publication
2000
Pages
515 - 542
Database
ISI
SICI code
0957-9265(200010)11:4<515:SHCCAO>2.0.ZU;2-N
Abstract
This article examines and interprets the linguistic behaviour of 'individua ls' and 'people' in the official literature of lifelong learning, in the li ght of theories of individualization in late modern culture and society, pa rticularly those of Beck and Giddens. Using a 950,000-word corpus of recent government and academic publications on lifelong learning. it presents a c oncordance-based analysis of 'individuals' as members of institutionalized collectivities, as agents, as rational citizens, and as consumers. It compa res 'individuals' with 'people' and, for reference, presents a comparison w ith both words as they occur in the British National Corpus. The study conc ludes that close analysis of a corpus can provide valuable evidence for the constituent potential of language in theories of society and culture, and that the differences between 'individuals' and 'people' demonstrate that th e discourse of lifelong learning has close affinities with contemporary soc iocultural models of individualization, consumption and production, and wit h the risk society.