"Democracy begins at home" : Utbildning om och för hemmet som medborgarfostran

Sammanfattning: This thesis is intended as a contribution to a discussion about education, especially when related to democracy and gender equality, in other words citizenship education. A strategy for the inquiries is developed, termed a feminist pragmatist attitude. The focus is on thqualitative content of education i.e. three theoretically demarcated relationships: feminine/masculine, home/society and home/school. When studying educational policy documents in order to identify different views on these relationships, I draw on a tradition of curriculum theory/curriculum history/didactics and the inquiries are influencedy a post-structuralist view of meaning. In agreement with Arendt, history is used to understand the present times and to propose alternatives for the future. Three discourses on home economics, ie. different ways of understanding home economics, are constructed. Home economics as: (1) Vocational education for women, (2) An education for women's mission in life and (3) Women's education for efficiency. Further, an alternativdiscourse for the future is proposed: (4) Home economics as citizenship education. This alternative discourse is constructed from "the forgotten potentials of the past", i.e. ideas from three phases or debates during the 20th century. The three phases are: thdiscussion of the relevance of home economics for the education of boys; the national curriculum from 1969, Lgr 69; and the parliamentary debate during the 1990s. The discourse is further underpinned by a discussion of feminist critique of traditional views of rationality, reason and ethics and by feminist alternatives such as ethics of care. Within the alternative discourse the norm of masculinity in education is criticised and the possibilities of breaking the dominance of thinorm is examined. The potentids of education about and for the home, e.g. education in home economics, as contributing to citizenship education of boys as well as girls are discussed.