Continuing Education in a Late-modern or Global Society
235imperialism. Since some transnational companies divide their production processes across avariety of countries, introducing an international division of labour, they have also lessenedthe signi®cance of national economies and the state and have emphasised the globalisationprocess even more.Among the theorists who have endeavoured to explain globalisation in economic termsis Wallerstein (1990), whose theory contains six elements: capitalism is worldwide; it hasalways sought wider markets which has created the contradiction between modernisation andWesternisation; the problem of getting workers to work harder for lower pay is an inherentlydif®cult one; modernisation as a central universalising theme gives priority to newness andchange; the capitalist world economy does not merely reward unequally, it is the locus of increasing polarity over historical time; and the strongest and wealthiest states have risen anddeclined. Most of his points are apparent in the above argument, although they are not allaccepted here uncritically; for instance, his ®nal point implies that history always repeatsitself, which is not logically correct. It is also signi®cant that Robertson (1992, p. 13)criticised him for being too one-sided and concentrating too much on the forces of economicsand so it is intended to try to avoid this error in the following argument by recognising thatinformation technology and the traditions of culture have also played signi®cant parts in thesechanges and also in the way that continuing education has developed. Nevertheless, it isimportant to recognise that it is hardly possible to understand the development of continuingeducation in the contemporary world without reference to the globalisation process.During the period in which the West was modernising and achieving dominance (theWest and the rest), those cultural values which it had adopted during the Enlightenment wereassumed to be the apex of civilisation and they were not only taken for granted but were oftenexported around the world both by the mechanisms of colonialism and, more latterly,through educationÐeven university extension (Steele, 1994,
). Hamilton (1992, pp.21±22) summarised these cultural values as follows: reason and rationality, empiricism,science, universalism, progress, individualism, toleration, freedom, uniformity of humannature and secularism. However, as other parts of the world modernised and the dominanceof the West appeared more fragileÐeven though many of the transnational companies are stillcontrolled from the WestÐsome of these values were called into question. Late or post-modernity had apparently arrived in the West! A number of scholars then began to writeabout this new era (Lyotard, 1984; Harvey, 1989; Jameson, 1991; Bauman, 1992,
).Whether it actually was a new era has certainly been a major feature in the debateÐwithmany scholars, notably Habermas (1987), denying that modernity is over. It is because of thisdebate, that the term `late modernity’ rather than post-modernity is adopted here, for clearlythe values of late capitalism still dominate Western society with some having become moreprevalent and others having taken new form, even though some of them have been ques-tioned by post-modern scholars.
Work in Global Society
Education and certainly continuing education, has nearly always been related to occupation,the structure of which has been greatly affected by these changes in the global economy,including the fact that since technological knowledge is changing at such a rapid rate it is lesslikely that people will remain in the same job all their lives without updating. Furthermore,many will have to change their occupation and learn new skills. Reich (1991, pp. 171±184)suggested that there will be three main types of work in the future: routine productionservices, in-person services and symbolic analysts. In addition, he noted that there will remaina few who work in the primary industries, such as farming and mining and others who are