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  • 1.
    Eriksson, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences Education.
    Constructing Resistance - Negotiations of Femininity, Race and Age in Swedish Visual Arts Education2019In: Nofa7 Abstracts, Stockholm, Sweden: Stockholm University, 2019, p. 67-67Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The following paper discusses two paradoxes in Swedish schools Visual Arts Education. The first one concerning that while a norm critical perspective more commonly is implemented in Swedish school settings by a growing number of teachers, many classrooms remain color mute. However, the active effort to keep the race issue silenced confirms its very importance (Castagno 2008). The second paradox concerning that even though gender equality is an important aspect of the Swedish National Curriculum, and my field studies was conducted in whatthe teachers and pupils commonly referred to as a feminist aware school, where girls where expected to have a strong voice and make resistance, gender equality still was overruled in the interaction between the male teacher in his forties and the female pupils. Based on ethnographic fieldwork at an urban upper secondary school with a national Visual Arts program, I video recorded a group of pupils working with an art film assignment. The theme for the task was “power and resistance”, and the pupils selected a non-white, feminine body in order to represent the position of the subordinate, the one, as the pupils put it, in need to learn how to resist oppression. My study show how femininity, race and age are enacted, for example by styling the casted pupil Vendela in a mixture of traditional female Asian clothing, and accessories to promote an East Asian look orienting her body as non-white. I examine how oppressed femininity is performed and encouraged to be negotiated and problematized in formal education, by teachers and pupils and how inequalities are both reproduced and challenged. But at the same time as the pupils perform these subject positions there issomething more going on; a hint of something unspoken that participants still assign significance. There seems to be aspects of the visualization of bodies that may not be articulated in words, but still is employed as a resource when pupils uses their own bodies and appearance to create an aesthetic utterance about subordination. Thus, I analyze how gender, race and age interact as discursive and aesthetic practices, in some young people's visual arts assignment. The theories of use are gender theory with an intersectional approach, critical race theory and the perspective of visual culture theory.

  • 2.
    Eriksson, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences Education.
    Estetiska preferenser och jag - en studie om ungas konstruktioner och förhandlingar av estetiska ideal2013In: I rörelse / On the Move / [ed] Johanna Dahlin, Tove Andersson, Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2013, p. 57-57Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [sv]

    Följande paper, som utgår från ett pågående etnografiskt fältarbete vid en gymnasieskola med estetiskt program, intresserar sig för visualitet och ungas konstruktioner och förhandlingar av estetiska ideal. Ungdomars förhandlingar kring smak och bildpreferenser kan undersökas som en estetisk och diskursiv praktik, men även som en del av ett ständigt pågående identitetsarbete. Estetiska ideal förhandlas mellan unga i min studie exempelvis i internetmiljöer, webbaserade sociala nätverk, och medie- och populärkulturen, likväl som i skolans bildundervisning. Det är studiens utgångspunkt att i dessa kommunicerade estetiska ideal, konstrueras även subjektspositioner; ett jag. Skolan är en arena där kulturell fostran görs explicit i undervisning och styrdokument, inte minst vad gäller smak och estetiska preferenser. Aure (2011) och Elsner (2000) beskriver emellertid ett vanligt förekommande ”glapp” mellan ungdomars och bildpedagogers estetiska preferenser, ett glapp som min pågående studie utforskar vidare. Min etnografi visar, liksom annan tidigare forskning, att skolan som institution är långt ifrån den enda eller kanske ens den främsta arenan för ungas estetiska influenser. Unga påverkar och påverkas av varandra och andra kontexter än skolan när det gäller smak och vilka bilddiskurser som kan användas i identitetskonstruktion. Jag presenterar ett exempel där informanten Sonja förhandlar estetiska ideal såväl under bildlektionerna som i sin privata bilddagbok och på nätet, på ett sätt som utmanar möjliga föreställningar om unga som ensidiga mottagare av skolans estetiska kanon. Paperet lämnar därmed ett bidrag till förståelsen av ungas förhandling av estetiska värden, och till betydelsen av sociala nätverksfora, där egna och andras bilder utgör en viktig del av kommunikationen – inte minst om det egna jaget.

  • 3.
    Eriksson, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences Education.
    Flickblickar: Visuella berättelser om, av och genom gymnasieelevers kroppar2019Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis investigates enactments of femininities, bodies and images among young women in two art and design classes at urban Swedish upper-secondary schools. The theoretical framework combines visual culture, performativity and new materialism, contributing to art education research and girlhood studies. Based on a nine-month ethnographic field study, including the collection of a) ethnographic field notes, b) photo documentation of the participants’ images created in classrooms and during spare time, and c) photo-elicitation-based interviews, the study explores students’ everyday engagement with images, referred to as visual narratives. These were investigated in relation to norms surrounding the becoming of girls, at a time when the schools in the study were both strongly promoting gender equality and some public debates suggested a postfeminist condition, i.e. that feminism has moved beyond the balance of equality. The thesis suggests that the relationships between visual narratives and bodies revolve around a particular type of gaze: the girl gaze, i.e. practices of looking, a communicative and aesthetic activity, in which the participants see themselves, their bodies and the world around them. Girl gazes consist of other gazes, such as the female gaze, the oppositional gaze, the transgender gaze or the white gaze. Each of these is investigated in three analytical chapters. In the chapter ‘White gazes’, theories of visual culture theory are combined with critical whiteness studies to analyse how certain bodies will not pass as white in a white school space in art teaching. Whilst talk about race in the Swedish antiracist classroom is taboo and silenced, race is indeed visible. For example, a subordinated non-white femininity is a theme in one actual school assignment. Colour-blindness, in a Swedish school context, should thus be understood not as a problem of seeing colour but as a taboo-laden silence when faced with stereotypes. The chapter ‘Screen gazes’ investigates how emotions circulate when visual narratives are produced on screens. Social media is often talked about as a female arena, and the making of selfies as narcissistic. However, allowing images that explore femininity and emotions to flow on social media might be a way to give femininity a place in the limelight. The study also discusses the humorous side of girl gazes, which may work as feminist counter-narratives by ridiculing gender norms. Finally, the chapter ‘Future gazes’ deals with aspirational identities – the embodiment of aesthetic ideals and future gazes. Tattoo culture, fitness culture and feminist statements in the form of art bricolage are studied as examples of work on bodies in relation to aesthetic ideals. These examples also came together in a common desire among the participants to become someone – to become known and recognised. In sum, in this thesis, the media-oriented term girl gaze – hitherto found with a hashtag in front of it, revealing its connection not with a scientific sphere but with social media – is a gaze constructed by gender and generation and other intersectional nexus points of social categories. Despite the commitment to gender equality in the classroom, the results show that equality is rather contested and continuously negotiated. The concept of the girl gaze can help to direct the analytical focus towards what is not yet visible, and to bring paradoxes surrounding girlhood and femininity to the surface.

  • 4.
    Eriksson, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences Education.
    Looking into the future: Becoming Feminine Gendered Bodywork among Swedish upper secondary School Girls2019In: Rethinking Knowledge Regimes: Solidarities and Contestations, Gothenburg: Swedish Secretariat for Gender Research , 2019, p. 55-56Conference paper (Refereed)
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