Om det politiska i samhällskunskap : Agonism, populism och didaktik

Sammanfattning: Democratic education can be seen as being constituted by a political dimension in two senses. In one sense, democratic education is political because it has a politically formulated goal to educate citizens. In another sense, the practice of democratic education is in itself political, in that it constitutes a space in which students encounter different visions of and opinions about what society should be like. In the intersection of these two meanings of “the political” we find the teacher. How can teachers navigate and approach “the political” in their classrooms? Which conceptions of conflicts, emotions and identities are useful when approaching the political as an educational problem?This thesis formulates an agonistic perspective on the political in social science education. In four articles, the thesis explores agonism and populism in relation to social science education. In focus are questions about the role that emotions, conflicts and identities should play in democratic education. Three of the four articles are theoretical investigations into the problems and potentialities of agonism and populism. The fourth article is empirically based on interviews with social science teachers and classroom observations. By synthesizing the results from these four articles, an agonistic perspective on the political in social science education is formulated. The agonistic perspective consists of four concepts: political emotions, hegemony, political presence and simplification. With these concepts, the agonistic perspective provides a theoretically informed starting point for teachers to reflect on and approach “the political” in social science education.

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