In the curriculum for the subject of Swedish reading of literary texts is justified by ideas that literary reading will make the student learn more about the environment in which he/she lives, about herself/himself, as well as about others. It is well stated by previous research that what readings that is required and formulated in, for example, assignments or book talk, is important in how the text is discerned by the reader. It is therefore interesting to analyse what readings the student is required or invited to perform when literary reading is examined in national tests, a testing form that concerns all students in upper secondary school, and where one of its official aims is to concretize the curriculum.
The aim of this thesis is to investigate what readings of literary texts are required or desirable in national tests in order to see what kind of reader the school is creating. This is done by studying how the student is positioned, by interpellations, in the tests. The thesis also has an historical approach, focusing on interpellation and reader subject.
The empirical material of the study consists of all tasks that require reading of literary texts that have been used in national tests in upper secondary school in the subject of Swedish, from the year 1968 to 2013.
The theoretical and methodological framework is discourse analytical with focus on positioning analyses, which is combined with analysis of readings, from the research field of literary didactics.
The results show what readings that have been more or less frequent during the period. Also the analyses of how the assignments are constructed display how the student is positioned in terms of competences, and in what way the reader subject is produced within the literary examinations. For example, if the text should be read with a focus on form, as a societal argument, or in order to be an inspiration for the student´s own life, this will in itself create a reader that has a knowledge of how to analyse literature, is able to write about societal issues or is willing to talk about him/herself. The three prominent reading subjects that the study highlights are subjects with a knowledge of literature, with a knowledge of psychology and subjects with a knowledge of societal issues. The historical approach also shows that the student is provided with more and more information in how to read the text over time, which shows that the assignments work as a scaffold but at the same time gives the student a specific outlook on how to read literature in the later tests.