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Skolan som demokratiprojekt: En poststrukturell diskursanalys av demokratiuppdrag och lärarsubjekt
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies (from 2013).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1621-7621
2019 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
School as a Democracy Project : A Poststructural Discourse-Theoretical Analysis of Schools’ Democratic Mission and Teacher Subjects (English)
Abstract [en]

Based on a poststructural discourse-theoretical perspective, the aim of this thesis is to critically examine the construction of the Swedish compulsory school’s democratic education and its consequences for the teacher subject, in educational policy texts. Set against the backdrop of what is commonly referred to as a crisis of democracy, the study takes its point of departure in changes in educational politics in recent decades and the new national curriculum for the compulsory school in 2011.

The thesis uses the poststructural discourse-theory of the political philosophers Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe as its theoretical and methodological framework. Their main objective has been to revive socialist politics by suggesting a radical, plural democracy as an alternative for a new left.

A number of national policy texts were chosen for the analysis. The selection covers official reports and government bills on the Education Act and on the Teacher Education Reform Act, the Education Act, the National Curriculum and a selection of documents from the Swedish National Agency for Education, ranging from 2008 to 2018.

The main results show that democratic education rests on a notion of the democratic society which creates relations between a democratic universalism based on individual rights and an unspoken national homogeneity. Democratic education is constructed as a broad and complex task aiming at the fostering of democratic competence, assuring equivalent education and counteracting abusive behaviour. The impact of neoliberal policy and new public management philosophy is evident in the empirical material analysed.

The study concludes that democratic education is constructed as part of a management perspective where democracy becomes the means of achieving a goal – the governed subject – which relates to pupils and teachers alike. In addition, the focus on consensus and rational thinking as well as the tendency to locate conflict resolution in the legal sphere contribute to the notion of a school free from abuse.

Abstract [sv]

I många demokratiska samhällen har skolan ett ansvar att förbereda unga människor för sin roll som demokratiska medborgare. En vanlig utgångspunkt tas i att utbildning om, genom och för demokrati är avgörande för demokratins fortlevnad. I en tid där högerpopulistisk retorik, desinformation och hot mot folkvalda hör till vardagen förefaller det viktigare än någonsin att utbilda för demokrati.

Avhandlingens syfte är att kritiskt granska konstruktionen av grundskolans demokratiuppdrag och vilka konsekvenser den får för lärarsubjektet. Baserat på de politiska filosoferna Ernesto Laclaus och Chantal Mouffes poststrukturella teorier om diskurs, hegemoni och radikal demokrati konstrueras ett ramverk för att analysera ett urval av nationella utbildningspolitiska texter mellan 2009 – 2018.

Tidigare forskning visar att debatten om det demokrati- och medborgarfostrande uppdraget närmar sig en marknadsliberal position och flera diskurs- eller textanalytiska studier indikerar diskurser och språkbruk som influerats av nyliberal ideologi. Resultatet från studien visar hur uppdraget tar form i relation till mål- och resultatstyrning, dokumentation och kvalitetssäkring där demokratiuppdraget tar form som en del av ett managementperspektiv. En särskild form av styrning i skärningspunkten mellan en juridisk reglering av mellanmänsklig samvaro, deliberativa samtalskvaliteter och betoningen av konsensus resulterar i att demokratiuppdraget konstrueras som den kränkningsfria skolan.

Avhandlingens bidrag består i att ställa nya frågor om skolans demokratiuppdrag och belysa hur uppdraget tillskrivs mening och vilka konsekvenserna av detta blir.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstad: Karlstads universitet, 2019. , p. 210
Series
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2019:22
Keywords [en]
Discourse theory, poststructural analysis, compulsory school, democratic education, teacher subject, a school free from abuse
Keywords [sv]
Diskursteori, poststrukturell analys, grundskola, demokratiuppdrag, lärarsubjekt, kränkningsfri skola
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Educational Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-74206ISBN: 978-91-7867-041-3 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7867-046-8 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-74206DiVA, id: diva2:1340301
Public defence
2019-09-13, Nyqvistsalen, 9C 203, Karlstads universitet, Karlstad, 13:00 (Swedish)
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Supervisors
Available from: 2019-08-26 Created: 2019-08-04 Last updated: 2019-08-26Bibliographically approved

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Cooper, Ami

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Citation style
  • apa
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