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Utmaningarna mot demokratins skola : Den svenska lärarkåren, nazismen och sovjetkommunismen 1933-1945

Höjeberg, Per LU (2016) In Studia Historica Lundensia 22.
Abstract
The Swedish teaching profession, Nazism and Soviet Communism from 1933 to 1945



The “Democratic School” was a concept that Swedish teachers used regularly to describe the school that they had participated in building up. In the interwarperiod, the Democratic School was confronted with two major challenges, i.e. German Nazism and Soviet Communism. This thesis has, in a comparative form, investigated how the Swedish teaching profession dealt with these challenges, the argumentation strategies they used and how these challenges affected the collective identity and ideals of the teaching profession.

Nazism was rejected on the basis that it conflicted with Swedish teachers’ own ideals and identity. It was not a... (More)
The Swedish teaching profession, Nazism and Soviet Communism from 1933 to 1945



The “Democratic School” was a concept that Swedish teachers used regularly to describe the school that they had participated in building up. In the interwarperiod, the Democratic School was confronted with two major challenges, i.e. German Nazism and Soviet Communism. This thesis has, in a comparative form, investigated how the Swedish teaching profession dealt with these challenges, the argumentation strategies they used and how these challenges affected the collective identity and ideals of the teaching profession.

Nazism was rejected on the basis that it conflicted with Swedish teachers’ own ideals and identity. It was not a question of whether a repudiation should be made but rather how it should be presented to its members and Swedish society, without deviating from the political neutrality that the teacher profession was fostering.

In the Soviet case, this thesis uncovered more of a passivity and silence. When the Communist ideology was compared with the Nazi ideology on a more fundamental level, they were both rejected as a threat to the democratic school. However, the rapid modernization of Soviet society was met with respect as a utopian challenge to imitate. Teachers in Sweden recognized themselves in and picked out those aspects of develop-ments in Soviet Society that they regarded as positive and accepted those which fitted with their own ideals.

Nazism and Soviet Communism were used to strengthen the teacher profession´s own identity, but in a completely different way. Admiration for sections of the Soviet Communism experiment strengthened the belief of Swedish teachers in utopian educational reform, where schools would be able to change society. The definite rejection of the Nazi dystopia was utilized as a frightening measure to strengthen the teacher professions’ own democratic identity. (Less)
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author
supervisor
opponent
  • Docent Frohnert, Pär, Stockholms universitet
organization
alternative title
The Swedish teaching profession, Nazism and Soviet Communism from 1933 to 1945
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
progressive education, totalitarianism, history of education, teaching profession, Soviet Communism, Nazism
in
Studia Historica Lundensia
volume
22
pages
232 pages
publisher
Department of History, Lund university
defense location
Sal C121, LUX, Helgonavägen 3, Lund.
defense date
2016-04-04 10:15
ISSN
1650-755X
ISBN
978-91-87833-71-7
language
Swedish
LU publication?
yes
id
1308a93e-5b56-47da-8e77-ec685b7a19a8 (old id 8837434)
date added to LUP
2016-03-04 16:44:20
date last changed
2017-04-10 10:25:02
@phdthesis{1308a93e-5b56-47da-8e77-ec685b7a19a8,
  abstract     = {The Swedish teaching profession, Nazism and Soviet Communism from 1933 to 1945<br/><br>
<br/><br>
The “Democratic School” was a concept that Swedish teachers used regularly to describe the school that they had participated in building up. In the interwarperiod, the Democratic School was confronted with two major challenges, i.e. German Nazism and Soviet Communism. This thesis has, in a comparative form, investigated how the Swedish teaching profession dealt with these challenges, the argumentation strategies they used and how these challenges affected the collective identity and ideals of the teaching profession.<br/><br>
Nazism was rejected on the basis that it conflicted with Swedish teachers’ own ideals and identity. It was not a question of whether a repudiation should be made but rather how it should be presented to its members and Swedish society, without deviating from the political neutrality that the teacher profession was fostering. <br/><br>
In the Soviet case, this thesis uncovered more of a passivity and silence. When the Communist ideology was compared with the Nazi ideology on a more fundamental level, they were both rejected as a threat to the democratic school. However, the rapid modernization of Soviet society was met with respect as a utopian challenge to imitate. Teachers in Sweden recognized themselves in and picked out those aspects of develop-ments in Soviet Society that they regarded as positive and accepted those which fitted with their own ideals.<br/><br>
Nazism and Soviet Communism were used to strengthen the teacher profession´s own identity, but in a completely different way. Admiration for sections of the Soviet Communism experiment strengthened the belief of Swedish teachers in utopian educational reform, where schools would be able to change society. The definite rejection of the Nazi dystopia was utilized as a frightening measure to strengthen the teacher professions’ own democratic identity.},
  author       = {Höjeberg, Per},
  isbn         = {978-91-87833-71-7},
  issn         = {1650-755X},
  keyword      = {progressive education,totalitarianism,history of education,teaching profession,Soviet Communism,Nazism},
  language     = {swe},
  pages        = {232},
  publisher    = {Department of History, Lund university},
  school       = {Lund University},
  series       = {Studia Historica Lundensia},
  title        = {Utmaningarna mot demokratins skola : Den svenska lärarkåren, nazismen och sovjetkommunismen 1933-1945},
  volume       = {22},
  year         = {2016},
}