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Det krympande klassrummet: En studie av högstadielärares förutsättningar i ett reformerat skolsystem
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
2014 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Since the 1990’s the Swedish school system has undergone major and recurring structural reforms. Two of the most comprehensive changes has been the shift of primary schools as an integral part of the welfare state to the responsibility of the municipalities as well as the introduction of free school choice for the students. Through two months of participant observations and semi-structured interviews this thesis seeks to answer the question of how these reforms has come to effect the work of teachers in a medium sized public school in a small municipality in the outskirts of Stockholm. Earlier research has shown that public schools in socio-economically vulnerable areas are disadvantaged due to the reformation of the school system (Beach & Sernhede, 2011; Östh, Andersson, & Malmberg, 2013).  This thesis is thus seeking to find the vantage point of primary school teachers in one such school, in order to grasp how these policy changes has come to impact their perceptions of a professional self and the amount of professional autonomy in their work.     Through the theoretical concept of audit culture (Shore & Wright, 1999) I show that these reforms have changed not only the structure of the school system but also how actors within the school setting relate to their work and professional role. On the basis of my fieldwork and previous research in the topic (Apple, 2005; Shore, 2008; Karlefjärd, 2011), I argue that the reformation of the school system has brought a shift in the relations of trust within the system, where the growing amount of confidence in measurement, optimization techniques and control has resulted in a lack of trust in teachers as professionals. The voices of teachers, as actors in the educational environment, has to a great extent been missing in the public debate surrounding the Swedish schools as well as overlooked by research in the field. This thesis therefore calls for a growing anthropological attention to primary school teachers and the workings of audit culture in the lower levels of the educational system.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 102 p.
Keyword [en]
Primary school teachers, audit culture, neoliberalism, reform, public education, governmentality, cultural capital
Keyword [sv]
Högstadielärare, granskningskultur, nyliberalism, kulturellt kapital
National Category
Social Anthropology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-107656OAI: diva2:749171
Available from: 2014-09-29 Created: 2014-09-23 Last updated: 2014-09-29Bibliographically approved

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