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Kränkningens livsförståelse: En religionsdidaktisk studie av livsförståelselärande i skolan
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Education.
2006 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

The Hard Lesson of Life: A Study of /Re/construction of Life in School from a Religious Educational Perspective

The overriding aim of this dissertation is to examine the understanding of life that young people /re/construct, and in this sense learn, in the discursive practices of school, and to describe how such a /re/construction takes place.

The theoretical frame of the study is a critical theory perspective. Potentially problematic aspects and findings are therefore given priority over good examples. The three main concepts used were generated through the interaction of theory and empirical material. These conceptual tools are: ‘understanding of life’, ‘discursive practice’, and ‘language’. The first concept refers to the young learners’ collectively /re/constructed perceptions of how life works and of what gives life value and meaning. Discursive practice is the concept used for the context and the way in which learning takes shape. Language is an important resource in the shaping of the collective interpretation, negotiation and /re/construction of an understanding of life.

Two empirical studies are presented, a main study and a complementary one. The main study, which is regionally limited, is a group interview with 51 youths from five schools divided into ten groups. The second is a study of the most frequently used high school Religion textbook, Religion and Life, and the analysis draws on the results from the group interview study.

The institutional frames, the large-sized schools, and the tasks of school to educate pupils and to differentiate between them, are risk factors that may lead to stereotypical, instrumental, and competitive relationships in education. The group interview study indicates that there are grounds for concern since it shows that victimization works as a teaching tool in the /re/construction of a hegemonic discourse of understanding life. The empirically identified hegemonic discourse of understanding life is termed “Life as adjustment for the benefit of individual competition”. Victimization is shown to be both the cause and effect of this discourse. The hegemonic life discourse also lends contextual legitimacy to victimization. The study of the school textbook suggests that the subject Religion may reinforce such a hegemonic understanding of life if it fails to balance the book’s objective and descriptive accounts of abuse of power.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Estetisk-filosofiska fakulteten , 2006. , p. 436
Series
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2006:10
Keywords [en]
understanding of life, perception of life, life philosophy, life view, victimization, violation, harassment, bullying, discursive practice, language, speech genre, reconstruction, construction, learning, education, religion, school, young people, group interview, text book, power, hierarchy, hegemony, gender, sex, adjustment, competition, critical theory
National Category
Religious Studies
Research subject
Religious Studies and Theology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-291ISBN: 91-7063-040-2 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-291DiVA, id: diva2:5934
Public defence
2006-05-19, 257, 11 D, Universitetsgatan 2, Karlstad, 13:15
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2006-07-07 Created: 2006-07-07

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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