About the author: Julia Preece is currently a lecturer in higher education at the University of Surrey, where she is researching widening access and lifelong learning issues. She was formerly responsible for a university widening participation action research project. She received her PhD in Adult Education. She has published on educational equality issues in the UK and overseas.1999 0-7734-8001-3
Adopting a position that reflects Foucault's analysis of discourse, this study looks at the discourses that undergird traditional university adult and continuing education. It is an empirical study of community based university adult continuing education for three minority social groups (people with disabilities, people of retirement age, and people of minority ethnic background). It discusses the relationship between power and discourse, the internalisation of, and resistances to, dominant ways of thinking. The research consists of interviews and documentary analysis. A total of 52 interviews included 13 academics across four university continuing education departments, nine community tutors or key community contacts, and thirty course participants across three different social groups.