07 SES 10 JS, Critical Reflections on Social Justice and Equality in Education, Part I: Critical Ethnography in Nordic Context- with European Refelctions
Joint Session with NW 19
This paper deals with students’ participation in influence processes in contemporary school life. Drawing on ethnographic data from two Swedish schools with students 13 to 16 years old, the aim is to deepen the understandings of students’ participation from a gender perspective and to highlight processes of normalization. Citizenship, whose key component is participation, is understood as discursively framed, and gender as constructed and performed. The results indicate that the students are expected to act and behave in accordance with certain norms and rules. The normative power within the influence processes also appears in the gendered participation pattern. Girls participate in a greater extent than boys. To participate in influence and decision processes is also talked about as a position in line with femininity rather than masculinity. The results are discussed in relation to the neo-liberal subject formation concerning being/becoming an ‘active citizen’ and its’ both feminine and masculine ‘attributes’. One conclusion that is drawn is that students’ participation in influence processes in everyday school life needs to be challenged. Otherwise it risks turning out as a self-regulating and normative project rather than a self-actualizing project.
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