Michael Newman


defining the enemy

DEFINING THE ENEMY: Adult Education in Social Action

First published in 1994 by Stewart Victor Publishing, Sydney; now republished as a pdf file which can be accessed on this site and downloaded for free.

This book won the 1995 Cyril Houle Award for Outstanding Literature in Adult Education from the American Association of Adult and Continuing Education.

Description from the back cover of the original edition:
“Some of the most intense learning in our adult lives can occur when we are in the presence of enemies, whether those enemies are oppressive employers, bigots, racists, polluters or the powers behind an earth mover knocking down a rain forest.

This original and challenging book looks at this kind of learning in Aboriginal adult education, trade union training, feminist adult education, peace education and environmental education. It critically reviews some currently fashionable adult education theories, concluding that a number are simply too nice, too unfocussed, too inward-looking or too mechanical to help people who are engaged in social action. It canvases the ideas of a number of adult educators who have confronted—and helped their learners confront—exploitation, imposition and injustice. And it proposes some processes that adult educators might use to help people learn how to identify, define, and then deal with their enemies. …”

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The text
The main text is identical to that in the previous hardcopy form, but in order to make the book more suitable for reading on screen both the font and pagination have been changed. A glossary and an index in the original hardcopy form have been removed, but you can find the relevant chapters or search for keywords or authors by using your find function. If you intend reading for any time on screen then we suggest you adjust by zooming to a view size (perhaps 125%) which suits your computer.

How to cite this electronic version of the book
Newman, M. Defining the enemy: Social action in adult education. www.michaelnewman.info  2007. (Originally published 1994.) Website last updated January, 2007.