Talet om det mångkulturella i skolan och samhället : En analys av diskurser om det mångkulturella inom utbildning och politik åren 1973-2006

Sammanfattning: The debate on "multicultural issues" has had a considerable impact on society, and in Sweden, dealing with such issues has been described and defined as a major problem. The aim of the present thesis is to analyse the various contents of discourses on multicultural issues that have influenced education and policy documents during the period 1973-2006. On several occasions, the Swedish government has declared that the diversity of the multicultural society we live in must be reflected in the field of education. In 1995, the Ministry of Education declared that education at all levels should promote cultural identity, while at the same time promoting knowledge of and respect for other cultures (Govt. Bill 1993/95:100, Annex 9). How can this objective be implemented? In which ways does the Swedish educational system actually prepare young people for a globalised, multicultural and internationalised world? Diversity in Sweden, in particular pertaining to the erea ?schools and education? is decribed in several recent official reports, despite of all democratic ideals, as charactarised by widespread discrimination, hostility, as well as unfair and humiliating treatmen of ?others?. The thesis draws theoretical inspiration from a socialconstructionist approach, and is informed by what is known as the ?linquistic turn?. Social reality does not only exist through the structures it acts within, but has been created by humans through social interaction, and is constructed discursively, through language. Language is not merely a transparent medium that reflects or directly represent a pre-existing reality, but rather created the social reality that we experience. The material world does not have meaning per se - it recieves meaning through language. The thesis describes the forms that speech abouth multicultural issues has taken in official documents 1975-2006. It further present an extensive account of pedagogical research in the field of intercultural pedagogy. In the discourses on multicultural issues the most notable signs encountered are ?immigrants? (invandrare) and ?the others?. The language used to speak about national and unifying issues in modernity while the language about multicultural issues is instead a language talking about foreigners, assimilation, refugees, xenophobia, discrimination, racism and structural discrimination. It is a language talking in dichotomies, decribing reality in terms of ?we ? and ?the others?. Operating with a inclusive and exclusionary perspective on the population over a periods of 30-40 years, has thus created and shaped an inherited habit of thinking and talking, using notions that have become part of basic social structures. Finally, the thesis describes some points of departure for exploring the core characteristics of pedagogy with intercultural aims. We live in a multicultural society that carries in its wake far-reaching changes in our life world, as well as new ways of learning from our surroundings. Within the frame of a multicultural school in a multicultural society, intercultural pedagogy with a postmodern pedagogical perspective, is without doubt the most suitable approach to tackle the issues that have arisen in our educational system today.

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