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Myter om gymnasieeleven: En diskursteoretisk studie av dominerande subjektspositioner i politiska texter 1990-2009
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education. (VETYL)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1928-7622
2016 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
The Social Myths of Student Subjects : A study of dominating subject positions in political documents in Swedish educational discourse 1990-2009 (English)
Abstract [en]

For whom the educational system should be available, what it should contain and what it should lead to, are all questions but with different answers. In this dissertation, these answers are understood as products of relations including a power dimension. As these relations constantly changes, the discursive struggle of defining the educational system is constant. Said struggle also contains different constructions of the student subject; what she/he ought to be and should become. It is the struggle of defining the student subject that is the focus of this dissertation.

As a starting point for the analysis, a political discourse theory is used, developed by Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe (2001). The main aims of the dissertation are to analyze 1) How the student subject is defined and positioned in the analyzed policy texts 2) What kind of relations that are constituted among student subjects and in between student subject, working life and social life 3) How does the conditions of the discursive struggle make impact of the space for political subjectivity. The empirical material is Swedish Political documents written between the time periods 1990-2009.

The analysis of the discursive political struggle shows three dominant subject positions structured in partly different discourses: The successful and free student, produced in the discourse of liberation (1990-1998), the individualized and solidary student, produced within the discourse of nostalgia (1997-2005) and the dutiful and adaptable student, which dominates the political struggle in 2006-2009, produced in the discourse of harmony. Although the subject positions are constituted within three different discourses, structured by partly different logics, they share an idea; the idea of an ongoing globalization. These articulations are not questioned and cannot be ignored in the discursive struggle. They are understood as disarticulations of an English/American neo-liberal discourse. To win a hegemonic position, the discourse of liberation, nostalgia and harmony, has to adopt signs from this neo-liberal discourse. They are also forced to rearticulate the intent of specific signs so they fit into each discourse’ inner logics. The disarticulations of the neo-liberal discourse which goes across the discursive borders are in this dissertation understood as a social fantasy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Institutionen för pedagogik och didaktik, Stockholms universitet , 2016. , 188 p.
Doktorsavhandlingar från Institutionen för pedagogik och didaktik, 41
Keyword [en]
student subject, discourse, upper secondary education, post structuralism, deconstruktion, subject position, categorization, political subjectivity, myth, social fantasy, Sweden
Keyword [sv]
elev, diskurs, gymnasieskolan, poststrukturalism, dekonstruktion, subjektposition, kategorisering, politisk subjektivitet, myt, social fantasi, Sverige
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-132980ISBN: 978-91-7649-480-6OAI: diva2:955977
Public defence
2016-10-20, Lilla Hörsalen, Naturhistoriska riksmuseet, Frescativägen 40, Stockholm, 13:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2016-09-27 Created: 2016-08-28 Last updated: 2016-10-12Bibliographically approved

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