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Making school development credible: Text, Context, Irony
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Child and Youth Studies.
2011 (English)In: Offentlig förvaltning : Scandinavian journal of public administration Scandinavian Journal of Public Administration, ISSN 2001-3310, Vol. 15, no 1, 20-40 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The article argues for the importance of an open, reflexive-methodological approach when switching between studying text, context and researcher activity. Close linguistic analysis can benefit from being linked with the researcher’s contextualisation of his empirical material as well as with more distanced readings. The more specific starting point for this article is that school development, like other similar terms such as school improvement and the like, makes use of linguistic building blocks with which whole narratives about today’s and tomorrow’s schools can be constructed. The subject of the study is a short text issued by the Swedish Schools Inspectorate (Skolinspektionen). Government language changes according to the authorities’ role in society and their own definitions of their functions, and an important aspect here is the legitimacy of the au- thorities’ texts. By means of various kinds of close linguistic analysis, the above- mentioned text is studied with regard to choice of categories, hierarchies of modalisa- tion and the rhetorical effects of different types of formulations in a broader political- social landscape. The article concludes with a reflective discussion on the relationship between government language and irony as a stylistic device – a device that is based on the results of the close empirical analysis.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Göteborg: School of Public Administration, University of Gothenburg , 2011. Vol. 15, no 1, 20-40 p.
Keyword [en]
School development, rhetorics, methodology, irony
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-63806OAI: diva2:487947
Skolutveckling som narrativ (VR)
Available from: 2012-02-01 Created: 2011-10-31 Last updated: 2012-06-14Bibliographically approved

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Börjesson, Mats
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