The revolutionary party in Gramsci's pre-prison educational and political theory and practice

Educational Philosophy and Theory 41 (6):622-639 (2009)
While most of Gramsci's party work is well known to education scholars of Gramsci, and the educational aspects of his writings have been repeatedly analyzed, what remains a constant in education-based Gramsci studies is the nearly universal minimization of this work for what it was, namely party work. For Gramsci, it would have been unthinkable to consider this work outside the framework of a revolutionary party. Yet, for contemporary educational scholars it seems unthinkable to consider Gramsci's work within the framework of a revolutionary party. The goals of this article are to outline Gramsci's interrelated conceptualization of the roles of the revolutionary party; the nature of education within and by the revolutionary party; and the aims of party education. For considerations of space, I limit this analysis to Gramsci's pre-prison praxis, the period of his active militancy in the PSI and the PCI. I conclude the article with what I consider to be lessons with continued relevance from Gramsci's praxis for the socio-political economic context faced by today's radical educators.
Keywords radical adult education  revolutionary political party  adult education  Gramsci
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DOI 10.1111/j.1469-5812.2008.00496.x
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