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Common-Sense Notions of “Nation": A Challenge for Teaching
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
2013 (English)In: Journal of Political Science Education, ISSN 1551-2169, Vol. 9, no 1, 34-51 p.Article in journal, Editorial material (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article examines how students' common-sense conceptualizations of “nation,” specifically the Swedish nation, operate in teaching situations in which a critical constructivist theory of “nation” is part of the curriculum. Taking its point of departure from discussions of conceptual change, this article examines how students negotiate common-sense notions and how these notions affect students' learning processes. We examine group discussions from two different undergraduate courses at a Swedish university. The article discusses obstacles and opportunities for students to understand the concept of “nation” from a constructivist perspective and to challenge the concept of “nation” as a given and natural entity. We find several discursive repertoires in the material. Three of these repertoires are scrutinized to discover how common-sense notions work. The repertories are multifaceted and can function in ways that facilitate as well as block denaturalization. The results show that common-sense understandings remain with the students even if they learn to account for constructivist perspectives. Furthermore, the results demonstrate that students' understandings of scholarly discussions of “nation” are complex and that resisting the content of a specific theory may, in some cases, be productive in terms of learning.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 9, no 1, 34-51 p.
Keyword [en]
common-sense notions, conceptual change, discursive repertoires, nation, political science teaching
Keyword [sv]
undervisning, statsvetenskap, nationalism, diskursiva repertoarer, vardag
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Political Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-89093DOI: 10.1080/15512169.2013.747837OAI: diva2:615557
Available from: 2013-04-11 Created: 2013-04-11 Last updated: 2013-04-18Bibliographically approved

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Jansson, MariaWendt, MariaÅse, Cecilia
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