This book provides a comprehensive sociological overview of adult and continuing education. It draws on all branches of sociology rather than advocating one approach. It examines the theories of all the significant sociological writers in the field such as Knowles, Marx, Freire and Gramsci and sets them in the broader intellectual context. It also considers the content of the curriculum in adult education and the place of adult education in society at large. The author indicates the strengths and weaknesses of the different sociological perspectives and demonstrates how they can be used to analyse the function and purpose of adult and continuing education.