Folkbildningsforskning som fält : från framväxt till konsolidering

Sammanfattning: This thesis is treating how Swedish liberal adult education research (folkbildningsforskning) has emerged and consolidated. The concepts of doxa, consecration, capital and field of Pierre Bourdieu are used to reconstruct liberal adult education research as a social field. The empirical material consists of texts and documents, structured chronologically between the years of 1954-2007. Central questions are: In which way can liberal adult education research be reconstructed as a field? How does it emerge? Which are the central values (doxa) that hold the field together and going, and where are the boundaries of the field? Who are the central agents of the field? How do they achieve recognition, and on which grounds? Which are the arenas that work as concecrating instances? The study indicates that the area establishes common concepts and references. A gradual expansion occurs. This involves increased opportunities, but also involves competition. Four different phases can be reconstructed as central: the emergence (1954-1979), the expansion (1980-1989), the institutionalisation (1990-1999) and the consolidation (2000-2007). Research summaries as well as organizations of special interests are contributing to the glow of the area. A number of strong positions are established as are a number of pretenders. These relate, in different ways, to the area and to broader perspectives and settings. The area is successfully handling and employing different kinds of challenges and opportunities. This is considered a sign of relative strength of the reconstructed field of liberal adult education research.