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Skolan som politiskt narrativ: En studie av den skolpolitiska debatten i Sveriges riksdag 1991 - 2002
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
2011 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
School as a Political Narrative : A study of the Education Debate in the Swedish parliament 1991-2002 (English)
Abstract [en]

How do politician talk about the role of school in society, in an era of changing demands and challenges represented by the knowledge society and globalization? The material underlying the study consists of protocols from the Swedish parliament during a decade characterized by many reforms and with both a conservative government and a social democratic. The aim of this thesis is to investigate the contemporary debate on school policy in the Swedish Parliament between 1991 and 2002.  My research questions are: Which are the dominating narratives about schooling that emerge in the debate? What are the influences from contemporary policies and from educational research? What kind of rhetorical resources underpin the arguments in the plenary debate and are there any shifts, inconsistencies and contradictions that can be heard in the debates?  Inspired by Margaret Somers four dimensions of narratives: ontological narrative, public narrative, metanarrative and conceptual narrative and I am using them to interpret different aspects of school as a political narrative.

Methodologically, I worked initially with a content analysis gradually moving to narrative analysis. The educational debates held during the three terms in office are characterised by different political initiatives and different kind of issues. I construct a number of dominating narratives with different plots, problems, solutions and promises of a better future for both the school and the nation. Key concepts seems to “float” depending on who uses them and in what context they are used. Important parts in the narratives are the rhetorical resources that politicians are using to get legitimacy and credibility. Perceptions of schools presented in the debate, may be seen as stories about what is desirable and possible, but also what is unwanted, threatening the progress of school and society. I have highlighted four public narratives in these debates and they are: A School for All, School on the Market, School in the Knowledge Society and A School in Crisis.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Institutionen för pedagogik och didaktik, Stockholms universitet , 2011. , 240 p.
Doktorsavhandlingar från Institutionen för pedagogik och didaktik, 9
Keyword [en]
Education Policy, Education Debate, Parliamentary Debate, Narrative Analysis, Political Narratives, Political Rhetorics, Narrating school
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-61806ISBN: 978-91-7447-333-9OAI: diva2:438362
Public defence
2011-10-07, De Geersalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 13:00 (Swedish)
Swedish Research Council, 2008-5316
Available from: 2011-09-15 Created: 2011-08-31 Last updated: 2011-11-07Bibliographically approved

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Forssell, Anna
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