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Title: Learning and unlearning in struggles for social change : activism and the continuing Egyptian revolution
Author: Underhill, Helen
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis investigates the effects of participating in activism on the people who struggle for social change. Using a critical pedagogical framework, the study contributes to the theorisation of 'social movement learning' by drawing distinctions between processes, outcomes and implications of learning, and by developing the concepts '(un)learning'and 'pedagogical adversaries'. The research examines how activists who participate in social and political action develop different perspectives of social change. The conclusions draw on data collected throughout 2014, specifically interviews with, and observations of, UK-based Egyptian activists who engaged in social action during the continuing 25 January revolution between 2011-2014. As activists reflect on their understandings in the context of revolution and counter-revolution, coup d'etat, elections, strikes and various forms of social and political change, they reveal many 'pedagogical entry points'. The findings illustrate that social movements are continuous processes and sites of important, rich and potentially transformative learning because they generate pedagogical moments through which activists can engage with and develop critical perspectives of the way the world is and should be. Analysis of social movement learning as (un)learning exposes the cumulative and continuing nature of learning and unlearning, and generates important insights into how social movements challenge established 'knowledge' and 'truths' to create progressive alternatives. Drawing on critical and radical theories of social change, the thesis demonstrates the importance of continuing to question conceptualisations of social change and of a political imagination that understands the pedagogical potential of disjuncture and challenge.
Supervisor: Kothari, Uma ; Miles, Susan Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Pedagogy ; Democracy ; Egyptian revolution ; Social change ; Unlearning ; Learning ; Social movement