Pedagogies of Solidarity: Popular Education, Knowledge-Building and Social Movements in Francophone Belgium

Kai Heidemann*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Sociological scholarship on social movements has shed important light on the role of knowledge production for processes of collective action and mobilization. However, much of this research overlooks the question of how movement-based knowledge emerges from within institutionalized settings of formal education. Drawing on a qualitative case study, this article examines the repertoire of knowledge-building practices mobilized from within a state-based system of adult education in francophone Belgium. Building on social movement theory, it is shown how formalized sites of adult education can empower the presence of social movements in society when they adopt counter-hegemonic principles of popular education that allow them to act as free spaces which facilitate the construction of strategic capacities and collective identities
Original languageEnglish
Article number19:3
Pages (from-to)335-362
Number of pages28
JournalComparative Sociology
Issue number3
Early online date2020
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020


  • Adult education
  • Belgium
  • Sociology of knowledge
  • social movements
  • popular education
  • free spaces

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