Social limits to learning
New York/Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2005; ISBN: 1-84545-004-3, 160 pp.
At the heart of the historical and social sciences lies the remarkable gray area of learning processes. "Learning" is usually perceived as individual childhood development at home and at school and has been written about extensively. However, little is known about learning processes outside primary and secondary socialization although insight into these learning processes appears indispensable for an understanding of social changes or the lack thereof.
On the basis of historical and current case studies, philosophical reflections, and critical commentaries, Mergner (1940-1999) opened up this important area through his "theory of social limits to learning," designed to explain not only why people accept or reject structures of domination but also why people trying emancipate themselves nonetheless form and accept new structures of domination. This anthology presents Mergner's seminal work to the non-German speaking world for the first time in order to give it the wider recognition it so clearly deserves.