Marketing the ‘Broad Line’: Invitations to STEM education in a Swedish recruitment campaign
2013 (English)In: International Journal of Science Education, ISSN 0950-0693, E-ISSN 1464-5289, Vol. 35, no 1, 147-166 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
In many Western societies, there is a concern about the tendency of young people not choosing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education and occupations. In response, different initiatives have been launched. If one believes that science should have a place in more young people's lives, an important question is to what extent recruitment campaigns communicate messages that open up for STEM education to become relevant in young people's identity formation. Here, we analyse a Swedish government-initiated, primarily Internet-based recruitment attempt (‘The Broad Line Campaign’) aimed at increasing the number of young people choosing the natural science programme in upper secondary school. The campaign is based on marketing principles and deliberately draws on identity issues. The data analysed consists of campaign films and written resources describing the campaign. Data are analysed by use of the constant comparative approach in order to produce categories describing different messages about why to engage in STEM education. These messages are then analysed from an identity perspective using the concept of subjective values. Our results show that the messages communicated in the Broad Line campaign emphasise utility value, attainment value and relative cost rather than interest-enjoyment. The campaign communicates that the natural science programme is to be associated with a high attainment value without establishing relations to the field of science. Finally, potential consequences of the communicated messages in the campaign are discussed in light of previous research.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 35, no 1, 147-166 p.
Recruitment, Educational choice, Science education, Identity, Expectancy value model, Upper-secondary school
Research subject Science Education
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-77570DOI: 10.1080/09500693.2012.695880ISI: 000313320700006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-77570DiVA: diva2:534114