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Den upproriska skötsamheten: Att vara ung och scout
Stockholm University, The Stockholm Institute of Education, Department of Human Development, Learning and Special Education .
2007 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
The rebellious aspect of being well-behaved : To be young and a scout (English)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis is to describe children’s own perspectives on being scouts and to describe the scout movement as a cultural phenomenon. The thesis is based on interviews with 34 members of the movement and studies of archive material and contemporary documents. It is also based on a social constructivist view of knowledge.

The results show that the movement seems to lack profile and is decentralised and secularised from the children’s point of view. They say that the movement’s history, the scout law, the scout oath and religion do not have great meaning. The movement has changed and membership today is not what it used to be. The children are scouts, but not too “scouty”.

The informants find that outsiders think that the movement is “geeky”, but it can have a high status among elderly people. The informants react to the “geekiness” by not caring, hiding the fact that they are members, not telling anyone or protesting against other people’s views on the subject. This “geeky” label and the informants’ reactions to it can be seen as an unexpressed initiation rite to becoming a scout. It is something the members have to go through to be seen as worthy scouts.

Being a scout is not considered rebellion against adults. Scouts can be seen as lacking youth culture patterns, adapting to an organized recreational activity. However, being a scout can be considered rebellion against other youngsters; some informants for example wore the scout uniforms in school. Some informants think that they have the correct picture of the movement and that outsiders have the wrong one. This strengthens their feeling of togetherness. Thus they are rebellious by being well-behaved. They fight against a dominating culture. Hence the scout movement works as a subculture even though it was created by adults.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Institutionen för individ, omvärld och lärande, LHS , 2007. , 174 p.
Keyword [en]
Child and Youth Science, Child Perspective, Scout Movement, Swedish Guide and Scout Association
National Category
Research subject
Child and Youth Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-7138ISBN: 978-91-7155-516-8OAI: diva2:197712
Public defence
2007-12-01, Dahlströmsalen, Lärarhögskolan, hus D, Rålambsvägen 26 D, Stockholm, 10:00
Available from: 2007-11-09 Created: 2007-11-09 Last updated: 2010-10-21Bibliographically approved

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