Det beslöjade rummet : Ideologiska samhällsbilder i grundskolans samhällskunskap

Sammanfattning: A veiled space - Ideological Images of Society in Swedish Compulsory School CivicsLars Sandin This study deals with the ideological dimension of education in the Swedish compulsory school [grundskolan]. By focusing on the images of the social world which are configured in the content of education, the study pays attention to the reproduction of an ideological dimension which is latent in our social imaginary. The theoretical problem was formulated as a question about if, and in what form, critical knowledge content is offered as part of the reproduction of the social imaginary that takes place in education. The empirical aim was to interpret the images of society configured in policy documents and teaching practice in compulsory school civics [samhällskunskap] with regard to how the differentiation of social space appears in these images. A hermeneutic approach was used. In the first of the two parts of the study, a number of policy documents – curricula and syllabi – were interpreted. In these documents, the differentiation of social space was found to be made visible selectively. The gender dimension and the dimension termed “cultural diversity” were highlighted, while the link between social differences and the uneven distribution of resources could only be glimpsed sporadically. A clear pattern of individuality could also be interpreted. The second of the two parts of the study was designed as a multiple case study. In this, the teaching of two teaching contents in civics, politics and economics, were studied as two separate cases. Three different images of society could be interpreted: a rationalist, a functionalist and a socio-political image. Of these, only the socio-political image offered a transparent view into the differentiated social space. However, the socio-political image was given a weak and unclear legitimacy in the teaching. The dominance of the rationalist and functionalist images were related to traditions that embed the teaching of civics. In the discussion the results from the two parts of the study were taken together and related to the problem. Among other things, the results were interpreted as an example of a conflict between contemporary reproduction and historical reproduction in education.