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The Emotional Community of Social Science Teaching

Blennow, Katarina LU (2019) In Lund Studies in Educational Sciences
Abstract
Some of the most pressing concerns of our time, such as crises connected to migration, the welfare state, international law and terrorism, are part of the Swedish upper secondary school subject Social Science. This means that Social Science teaching easily generates intense emotions, sparks of which are lit in the encounter between the students, the teacher, and the specific content of the school subject Social Science. This aim of this dissertation is to examine what emotions do in the teaching of the school subject Social Science (samhällskunskap) and what the subject Social Science does to emotions. This is examined through an ethnographic exploration of Social Science teaching in four different Swedish upper secondary schools. Barbara... (More)
Some of the most pressing concerns of our time, such as crises connected to migration, the welfare state, international law and terrorism, are part of the Swedish upper secondary school subject Social Science. This means that Social Science teaching easily generates intense emotions, sparks of which are lit in the encounter between the students, the teacher, and the specific content of the school subject Social Science. This aim of this dissertation is to examine what emotions do in the teaching of the school subject Social Science (samhällskunskap) and what the subject Social Science does to emotions. This is examined through an ethnographic exploration of Social Science teaching in four different Swedish upper secondary schools. Barbara Rosenwein’s concept emotional communities is central to the analysis, as are Sara Ahmed’s emotion-oriented conceptualisations of movement, attachment and contact.
In the study, it is shown how an emotional community of Social Science teaching emerges that in part is different from comparable emotional communities in other school subjects, such as History and Religious Education. There is furthermore a dissonance between the role emotions are supposed to play in the teaching and the role emotions actually do play. Despite being clearly related to the specific subject content of Social Science, it is also important to note that emotions are always relational, which leads to attachments and detachments in the group of teacher and students. Emotions in Social Science teaching are moreover connected to conflictuality, multiperspectivity, ideas about ‘the good citizen’, and the subject’s inherent contemporaneity.
An important result of the dissertation is that in emotionally intense teaching situations, teachers’ attempts to use a ’traditional’, rationality-oriented Social Science analysis do not resonate with the students. The examined cases of Social Science teaching therefore seem to suffer from a traditional division between rationality and emotionality that largely has characterized political analysis in the 20th century. A rapprochement between the students’ lifeworld and the school subject’s disciplinary analysis would benefit from an increased use of the emotional dimension and community of Social Science teaching.
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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
supervisor
opponent
  • docent Jan Löfström, Helsingfors universitet
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Social Science Education, SOCIAL STUDIES, Civics, Citizenship education, Emotions, Education, Emotional communities, symbolic boundaries
in
Lund Studies in Educational Sciences
issue
9
pages
276 pages
publisher
Lund Studies in Educational Sciences
defense location
LUX C126
defense date
2019-12-13 13:15:00
ISSN
2002-6323
ISBN
978-91-88899-63-7
978-91-88899-64-4
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
ba300187-7d1b-4c29-9584-312857a894cf
date added to LUP
2019-11-13 14:07:23
date last changed
2019-11-14 15:38:37
@phdthesis{ba300187-7d1b-4c29-9584-312857a894cf,
  abstract     = {Some of the most pressing concerns of our time, such as crises connected to migration, the welfare state, international law and terrorism, are part of the Swedish upper secondary school subject Social Science. This means that Social Science teaching easily generates intense emotions, sparks of which are lit in the encounter between the students, the teacher, and the specific content of the school subject Social Science. This aim of this dissertation is to examine what emotions do in the teaching of the school subject Social Science (samhällskunskap) and what the subject Social Science does to emotions. This is examined through an ethnographic exploration of Social Science teaching in four different Swedish upper secondary schools. Barbara Rosenwein’s concept emotional communities is central to the analysis, as are Sara Ahmed’s emotion-oriented conceptualisations of movement, attachment and contact.<br/>In the study, it is shown how an emotional community of Social Science teaching emerges that in part is different from comparable emotional communities in other school subjects, such as History and Religious Education. There is furthermore a dissonance between the role emotions are supposed to play in the teaching and the role emotions actually do play. Despite being clearly related to the specific subject content of Social Science, it is also important to note that emotions are always relational, which leads to attachments and detachments in the group of teacher and students. Emotions in Social Science teaching are moreover connected to conflictuality, multiperspectivity, ideas about ‘the good citizen’, and the subject’s inherent contemporaneity.<br/>An important result of the dissertation is that in emotionally intense teaching situations, teachers’ attempts to use a ’traditional’, rationality-oriented Social Science analysis do not resonate with the students. The examined cases of Social Science teaching therefore seem to suffer from a traditional division between rationality and emotionality that largely has characterized political analysis in the 20th century. A rapprochement between the students’ lifeworld and the school subject’s disciplinary analysis would benefit from an increased use of the emotional dimension and community of Social Science teaching.<br/>},
  author       = {Blennow, Katarina},
  isbn         = {978-91-88899-63-7},
  issn         = {2002-6323},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {12},
  number       = {9},
  publisher    = {Lund Studies in Educational Sciences},
  school       = {Lund University},
  series       = {Lund Studies in Educational Sciences},
  title        = {The Emotional Community of Social Science Teaching},
  url          = {https://lup.lub.lu.se/search/ws/files/71812127/Katarina_Blennow_HELA.pdf},
  year         = {2019},
}