Gymnasieungdomars livstolkande

Detta är en avhandling från Göteborg : Acta Universitatis Gothoburgensis

Sammanfattning: This thesis describes and analyses views of life and religion, as a component of „view of life‟,among young people in a Swedish upper secondary school that in the words of the youngpeople themselves is „multicultural‟. The concept „view of life‟ is rooted in a Scandinavian research tradition, and is based on a stipulative definition provided by Jeffner (1973), which includes„view of world and man‟, „values and moral‟ and „attitudes towards life‟. Thedefinition is formulated in a society where secularization is an on-going debate. However, in that secularization is contested, religion has re-emerged in a society increasingly characterized by religious pluralism, but also privatization according to religion. Views of life and religion have become political as well as private issues and, in school, are discussed in relation to the „fundamental values‟ and the subject of „Religious Education‟. In such discussionsthe aim is to help students to form an own view of life, just as long as it is consistent with the normative standards of „fundamental values‟.The focus of this thesis is directed to young people‟s articulations. An ethnographic approach has been adopted and the data consists of field notes, letters and interviews (individually and in groups). The fieldwork has taken place in four graduating classes of a single school year. Using analytical concepts from discourse theory the focus of the analysis is on how the youngpeople articulate the three dimensions of „views of life‟, linguistically and physically through narratives, reflections and staging.The most prominent results of the thesis are that, as well as the positioning of religion, views of life are directed towards the self. Articulations about „being yourself‟ appear as a very open concept that can be filled with different content. In accordance with the notion of staging, the young people demonstrate andtest identity with the quest for „authenticity‟ being central. Through high expectations of the „good life‟, vulnerability is also noticed, especially in the anonymous letters.With regard to values and morals a consensus-perspective appears to a greater extent than specific values. Value questions and moral issues dominate in the public arena while ontological and existential questions dominate in the individual letters and interviews. Here the concept „view of life‟is brought into a field between the private and the public and is especially evident in the subject of Religious Education.Although religion is articulated in terms of tolerance and freedom of choice, these concepts are given connotations of a half-hearted attitude and a consensus perspective rather than interest and curiosity for the faith and religious life of „the Other‟.However, if a religious positioning becomes a political issue, the half-hearted setting is challenged. There is also a difference between those having acquired a religious literacy and those who have not.

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