Present absences Exploring the posthumanist entanglements of school absenteeism
Sammanfattning: The aim of the study is to explore how school absenteeism as a material-discursive phenomenon is produced in the practices of humans and nonhumans, when absences and presences are registered and managed through digital technologies. How is the phenomenon of school absenteeism produced when absences and presences are digitally registered? How does the phenomenon of school absenteeism emerge when both human and nonhuman entanglements are included in the apparatuses of knowing?Through a posthumanist approach, the study engages empirically with two types of software for the registration of absences and presences at three Swedish schools. The results show that digital registration blurs the division between absences and presences, and queers what is absent and what is present. Digital registration produces school absenteeism as a phenomenon for all students every day, and at the same time as mainly for the students who are present most of the time. A conclusion that is drawn from the study is that digital registration makes absences present, by the visualization and performative repetition of the registration. The study points to how school absenteeism is always ‘in the making’, and proposes the concept of school absenteeing as a productive way to open up new possibilities in relation to students’ absences.
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