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The Abstract Citizen: Minority Youths Qualifying for Citizenship
University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Culture Studies, Religious Studies and Educational Sciences. (STORIES)
2014 (English)In: Citizenship Teaching and Learning, ISSN 1751-1925, Vol. 9, no 2, 157-173 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper focuses on the Swedish school's democratic mission to foster active democratic citizens in relation to fundamental human rights, the National Education Act and the National Curriculum for the compulsory school system. This is done by showing the tension contained in policy documents and giving examples of how this is played out in the everyday practices of schooling. The overall democratic mission for the Swedish school system—to prepare the younger generation for Swedish citizenship—takes place within the nation state and therefore carries with it historical and cultural norms, values ​​and laws that in certain ways become relevant to various minority groups in the country. In this paper, the notion of the abstract citizen is used to elaborate on the imaginary of the nation and its ideal citizens. The empirical material consists of two case studies, both of which are situated in the same Swedish town and have been chosen in order to achieve socioeconomic variation. A mixed method approach has been applied to the study. The results show the complexities that result from the tension that exists in the policy documents with regard to the school’s responsibility to prepare the younger generation for an active, democratic citizenship characterised by virtues such as democratic, pluralistic and tolerant. An important feature is the school staff's professional judgement, i.e. an awareness of the grounds on which students are treated and which opportunities exist for individuals to differ from the majority of the population. Such situations of response and processes of socialising and disciplining create practices of inclusion and exclusion. In democratic terms, the notion of the abstract citizen must be constantly negotiated and renegotiated in the policy implementation and enactment in the everyday practice of schooling. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 9, no 2, 157-173 p.
Keyword [en]
abstract citizen, assimilation, citizenship, education, hegemony, integration, nation state
National Category
Didactics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-16121DOI: 10.1386/ctl.9.2.157_1Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84931024368OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-16121DiVA: diva2:689561
Available from: 2014-01-21 Created: 2014-01-21 Last updated: 2015-07-07Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard-cite-them-right
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • sv-SE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • de-DE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf