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Essentializing vs. non-essentializing students' cultural identities: curricular discourses in Finland and Sweden
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Swedish Language and Multilingualism, Centre for Research on Bilingualism.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9024-330X
2017 (English)In: Journal of Multicultural Discourses, ISSN 1744-7143, E-ISSN 1747-6615, Vol. 12, no 2, 166-180 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article examines how students' cultural identities are discursively constructed in the Finnish and Swedish national curricula for the compulsory school. The aim is to illuminate the manifold discourses on cultural identity which prevail within Nordic educational policy. The study employs a critical multicultural education and postcolonial perspective with a particular focus on essentialist and non-essentialist views of identity in the curricular discourses. Through discourse analysis, key terms such as 'cultural identity' and 'multicultural identity' as well as different aspects of cultural identities such as language, gender and religion are investigated. The results show diverging discourses, with distinct differences in their explicitness and implicitness in the two countries. A clear effort to see all students as having multi-layered and multicultural identities is evident in the Finnish curricular discourse whereas a more essentializing discourse emerges in the Swedish curriculum. We conclude with a discussion on the importance of addressing policy discourses on students' cultural identities in order to ensure non-essentialist and socially just teaching and educational practice.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 12, no 2, 166-180 p.
Keyword [en]
Cultural identity, multicultural student, multilingual identity, national curriculum, Finland, Sweden
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-142329DOI: 10.1080/17447143.2017.1311335ISI: 000403398600006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-142329DiVA: diva2:1098204
Available from: 2017-05-23 Created: 2017-05-23 Last updated: 2017-07-25Bibliographically approved

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Paulsrud, BethAnne
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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
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