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School Certification: Marketing Schools by their Appearance
University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Educational sciences, Educational science, Education.
Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences - INN University, Norway.
2018 (English)In: NERA 2018 - 46th Congress : Educational Research: Boundaries, Breaches and Bridges: Abstracts, 2018, p. 110-Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Since the mid-1990’s the Swedish School system, as well as others, has developed a closer connection between education, economy and the market as a consequence of neoliberal reforms (Fernández, 2012; Dahlstedt, 2007). Coming with neoliberal reforms is a movement of decentralisation of school systems making marketing and concurrence a natural part of the educational landscape which can be seen in most OECD countries. However, Sweden as a case makes an especially interesting example because of the intensity of this development. Today in Sweden, this can even be seen in discussing education in terms of a ‘local school market’ (Lundahl, 2002; 2010). In this new educational logic students’ have been given the role of customers enabling them to choose between schools, at the same time forcing schools to compete against each other to attract students’ (Lund, 2006; Norén, 2003). To do so, schools has developed different marketing technologies to illuminate themselves as the best option on the market or to ‘sell themselves by appearance’. These technologies are manifold such as websites, specific bonuses if choosing a school e.g. computers or summer camps, promises of a successful future due to grade rate at the schools, but also a practice of selling the schools by various certifications has appeared. Certifications are constructed in different ways and highlight different aspects with an outspoken purpose of attracting the youths of today. ‘Green certifications’ have been around for a while and the latest observed are certifications saying that the school and all the personnel are certified for knowing e.g. gender- and gay-rights. The purpose of certifications is often marketed as a way for illustrating that the school is modern and keeping up with societal developments. In order to analyse the new technology of certification as part of a new educational logic the paper historicise on institutional speech acts and different ‘styles of reasoning’ (Hacking, 1992) evident in the school contexts of today. Even though the case is Sweden with its specific characteristics, the analysis show that a lot of the trajectories have importance on a global scale. What is especially elaborated on is how appearance as a market logic with its specific technologies is directed towards individuals and as such come to play a part of educational governance. By elaborating on the phenomenon of appearance, in terms of certifications, some changes in the educational landscape can be highlighted, where marketing for individuals is more emphasized than marketing for groups and by that changes traditional historical reasoning on schooling.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. p. 110-
Keywords [en]
school market, certifications, LGBTQ
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-26909OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-26909DiVA, id: diva2:1216330
Conference
Nordic Educational Research Association (NERA)2018, 8-10 Mars 2018, Oslo, Norway
Available from: 2018-06-11 Created: 2018-06-11 Last updated: 2019-03-12Bibliographically approved

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Johansson, Urban-Andreas

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard-cite-them-right
  • ieee
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Output format
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