Mening, makt och utbildning : Delaktighetens villkor för personer med utvecklingsstörning
Sammanfattning: This doctoral thesis discusses issues concerning participation for children and young people, educated in special schools for pupils with learning disability, LD. The overall purpose of this doctoral thesis is to elucidate the preconditions of participation for persons with LD, in past and present times. A further purpose is to look into how ideas belonging to persons with LD relate to the social categorisation of LD, especially in the sphere of education. How has this category been established up to our time? Nowadays, which ontological and epistemological conceptualisation and which stance on society do persons with LD express in a first-person perspective? What can persons with LD expect of other persons, knowledge and society?Two young people with LD, called Elin and Blomman, told their life-stories with focus on those years they spent in special school. To this effect, thirteen tape-recorded interviews were conducted, constituting the empirical data. A Foucaultian model was applied in the analysis of their life-stories, which were then interpreted in a hermeneutic way of understanding. The first-person perspective of what it means to live with LD appears to be complicated and full of contradictions. Time spent in school included, after all, meaningful education in terms of challenges, traditional knowledge of subject matter, socialising and moments of happiness. However, Blomman also demands existential knowledge. He wants to arrive at an understanding of his difficult life."Good-enough-for-disabled-persons”-thinking by others is obvious. The results also demonstrate that participation in social networks gives support and serves as a sounding board. Elin and Blomman relate with a blend of both closeness and distance to others in special school, which is attended by both ”the disabled” and ”those who sit in a wheelchair”. Blomman agrees with the fact, that ”fully grown-ups” decide upon certain things. He has not yet taken upon himself the role of being grown up. Yet, he has a good grasp of his own shortcomings. Elin looks upon herself as a competent and successful relationship-builder. Persons with LD try to understand what it means to be disabled. They seek to understand themselves and they themselves in social relations to others, exactly as everybody else. According to Blomman, there is nothing wrong with his personality. By uttering these words he offers teachers and providers of education and many others, an exciting train of thought.
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