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Samhällskunskap för alienerad elit: Observationsstudie av särskilda läroverket
Malmö University, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Society, Culture and Identity (SKI). Malmö University, Disciplinary literacy and inclusive teaching. Lunds universitet.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2806-4404
2020 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Social Science for Alienated Elite : Observational Study of the Distinct Grammar School (English)
Abstract [en]

This thesis is built around an observational study of a class at an elite school. The study follows the class through their upper secondary school education (ages 16-19), focusing on social science lessons. I have used ethnographic methodology to describe and problematize how social science and value-based ambitions of equality conflict with the student role of superiority cultivated at this school. This study of an elite uses a fly-on-the-wall distanced position of an included stranger. In the perspective of research on elite schools, the school is characterized as performing in the shadow of a more classic elite school tradition. The more traditional national boarding and cathedral schools use characterizations of age and tradition to legitimize their elite status. This is a characterization that the studied free school (approx. charter school) is trying to mimic despite its recent establishment.A concept of alienation including superiority frames the performed excellence noted during the observations. A concept of alienation without powerlessness is developed theoretically in this dissertation and used to analyse the material from the observations. A contemporary kind of stoicism is investigated within the concept of alienation. Stoicism within alienation describes the students’ ways of distancing themselves from what they learn, not giving any expression of whether what they learn influences what choices they make as they shape their lives and values. The social science subject at the elite school is characterized by a “dialectical didactics of turning away”, or of abandonment.In several ways the dissertation relates to power: a social hierarchy where supremacy and subordination becomes less black and white. The dissertation concludes by discussing the limited freedom of students who must negotiate egalitarian contra elite values in their social sciences education. In understanding egalitarian values in the perspective of power, Simone de Beauvoir’s (2018 [1947]) concept of freedom is useful: one’s own freedom is not freedom when others are unfree.Research on the democracy-promoting mission of the social science education subject, as well as the recommendations and directions of the school authorities, argues for a pluralistic classroom where different views and experiences meet. A deliberative democracy is also promoted. At the Distinct Grammar School, observations have been made of a classroom without pluralism and without deliberation. This has consequences for the teaching of social science in the school: the social science teacher’s authoritarian leadership style is motivated, in a contradictory way, with ambitions of promoting democracy and a democratic distribution of power. A complex dynamic of power between the teacher and the students plays out during the observations. The ethnography in the intersection of elite school research and social science didactic research has exposed a didactical dialectics of the exile, or exclusion. The turning away is inspired by Hannah Arendt’s (1998 [1958], 2006 [1961]) concept of World Alienation, a concept elaborated for understanding loss of love for the world as a threat to the promise of the political. This is framed as a social science didactics for alienated elite.

Abstract [sv]

Elevernas skamkänslor känns i rummet medan läraren talar om referenstekniker. Jag ser elevernas kutade ryggar när de sjunker ihop och blir mindre än de brukar vara. De är totalt knäpptysta och verkar knappt andas. Alla elever har ansiktet riktat mot läraren, ingen av eleverna i klassrummet gör någon signal av att märka av när de försenade eleverna kom in: ingen låtsas om att det är något särskilt på gång utöver den olydnad som brutit kontraktet om respekt för lärarens kontroll över lektionstiden. Ingen i hela rummet vänder blicken mot den mystiska mörkt orangea dimman som verkade vilja krypa in genom fönstren, ingen utom jag som inte kan låta bli att låta blicken vandra nyfiket mellan eleverna, läraren och solförmörkelsen…

Under Janna Lundbergs observationer på Särskilda läroverket har eleverna aldrig visat ett större motstånd än vid ovanstående tillfälle; läraren har heller aldrig visat större missnöje med elevernas agerande än denna gång. Elevernas äventyr till skolans hustak under ett sällsynt tillfälle, för att få se en solförmörkelse, resulterade i ett par minuters förlorad lektionstid. Men lärare hade sagt nej när eleverna bad om lov.

Elever utan kroppar, ett samhällskunskapsämne utan gemenskap på en skola utan ”de andra”, är några av de teman som analyseras i avhandlingen Samhällskunskap för alienerad elit. Här förenas materialet från en flerårig observationsstudie med ett alienationsbegrepp utvecklat för att förstå förfrämligande utan maktlöshet. Tvetydigheter i maktordningen mellan lärare och elever, en osäkerhet över vem som egentligen styr vem, driver fram diskussionen om en frånvändandets dialektiska didaktik.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Lund: Lunds universitet , 2020. , p. 280
Series
Lund Studies in Educational Sciences, ISSN 2002-6323 ; 10
Keywords [sv]
Samhällskunskapsundervisning, Alienation, Eliter
National Category
Didactics Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-17203Libris ID: cpc13r7d9zqfv6zfISBN: 9789188899774 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mau-17203DiVA, id: diva2:1488793
Note

Diss. (sammanfattning) Lund: Lunds universitet, 2020

Available from: 2020-11-03 Created: 2020-11-03 Last updated: 2021-09-03Bibliographically approved

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Lundberg, Janna

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