Formation of respectable citizens: precarious work and uncertain futures in a f-cked up world
2016 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Drawing on research on gender and class and especially on the work of Beverly Skeggs we analyse adult educational student’s stories of their future occupations and future lives. We argue that these narratives of the future are both gendered and class specific. The results shows that there are echoes from the past, where the working class focused on being diligent, caring, modest and respectable. There is also a gender difference among the working class students, where women picture their future occupations in relation to having children and a family. For the working class female students their future occupations are further often connected to working with people, i.e. as care workers, teachers or for instance physiotherapist – i.e. work that involve caring in one way or another. Different results are seen in the analysis of middle class students that are more likely to focus on their individual self-realisation, where the futures are grander and not so much connected to a specific time and space. Another important result is that the working class students are modest in the narratives of their future occupations. Imagined occupations would mean a certain amount of social mobility, but rather modest ones.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. 1-23 p.
adult education, class, work, citizenship, futures
Research subject Education and Learning
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:du-23074OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-23074DiVA: diva2:968830
ESREA: 8th Triennial European Research Conference, Maynooth University, Ireland, 8-11 Sept 2016
Presented at the joint symposium "Citizenship Education, Democracy and the Market".
Symposium abstract: Education is not only a matter of knowledge and skills provision, but also of training - of formation of citizens. Education is characterized by an ambition to secure two historically established principles; that of democracy and that of the market. These two principles interact and mobilize both collective and individually oriented notions of what it means to be a citizen in different educational levels. Taking Sweden as a case (för att det är svenska reffar till svensk empiri??, although far from entirely or exclusively, the former can be seen as more collective and the latter more individually adapted in this respect (Carlbaum 2012; Dovemark 2004; Olson & Dahlstedt 2014). The centrality of the two principles of democracy and the market, and their tension-filled relationship in educational citizen formation over time, has lately been problematized (cf. Molnar, 2006; Sandlin, Burdick and Norris, 2012). Not least the historical change in which the market increasingly has come to be denoted as a situation in which several educational providers compete to accomplish public tasks (cf. Ball and Yodell, 2008). The vitality of the principles and of the tension between them has been identified as being particularly influential in post-war Swedish education policy (Englund 1999; Lundahl 2006; Dahlstedt 2009; Lundahl and Olson, 2013). However, less emphasis has been put on the role of this tension-filled relationship in education in relation to its commissioned task of citizen formation in policy and practice. This is not least the case in adult education, and educational practice that is assigned to live up to practically the same commissioned objectives as compulsory and upper secondary school. In this symposium the focus is directed at how these tensions between democracy and market is played out in contemporary Swedish adult education. More specifically, the focus is put on the formation of citizens within formal (municipal adult education [MAE]) as well as non-formal adult education (folk high schools [FHS]). How do students construct themselves as citizens? What are the material and discursive conditions for such constructions? How does such constructions relate to the ways in which teachers construct students as citizen subjects? The symposium is based on an on-going research project on citizenship education within and beyond adult and popular education. The data consists of 67 interviews with students and ten interviews with teachers within one school for MAE and one FHS. Students were asked to document their daily citizenship activities with a pen camera for 1-2 weeks, after which they were individually interviewed with a focus on what they had documented/not documented, and why. Interviews with teachers’ focused on their work with citizenship education within their teaching. Interviews were also complemented by collection and analysis of policy documents on adult and popular education. The papers in this symposium, problematize different aspects of issues of citizenship education, drawing on post structural theorisations inspired by the work of Michel Foucault, as well as more critical theoretical perspectives inspired by authors such as Beverly Skeggs.2016-09-122016-09-122016-09-15Bibliographically approved