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Toleransens altare och undvikandets hänsynsfullhet: Religion och meningsskapande bland svenska grundskoleelever
Södertörn University, School of Historical and Contemporary Studies, The Study of Religions.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4805-4158
2021 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In contemporary western society, the changing religious diversity brought to the fore a more visible religion. The Swedish school and the Swedish classrooms are no exception. From a perspective of sensemaking and a wide understanding of religion and religious positions this thesis analyses the discourse on religion among pupils (age 9 to 16) in the Swedish elementary school and under what circumstances they do, or do not, talk about religion with each another. 

This qualitative study includes themes from and contributes to the study of religion, research on children and young people, and particularly to religious education (RE) in Sweden and elsewhere. The results show that the pupils during the interviews showed different and parallel ways of understanding, relate to and way of talking about religion. However, to some degree they seemed to be unwilling to talk about religion with each other, even though they expressed some interest thereof. Two reasons for this were their limited common discourses on religion, and their concern and anxiety to create conflict and to “step on somebody’s toes”. The latter was also combined with their tendency to show tolerance, respect and deference towards each other. Thirdly, due to their partial lack of discourses on religion the pupils had difficulties to position themselves in relation to religion and to understand others. For instance, this came to the fore and was exemplified by the non-Christian Swedish pupils. They seemed to lack categories to speak of themselves in relation to religion and, for instance, answer questions like: “What do you believe in?”.

Even though the pupils did not talk much about religion with each other, the result shows that they had several ways of talking about and understanding religion and religious phenomena – for instance based on popular culture. Not all these understandings and discourses on religion where paid attention to in school or in class. Instead, the pupils had to adapt to discourses prevalent in school which narrowed the possible ways of understanding and talking about religion. In line with this, there were several positions in relation to religion – for instance unsure and uncertain positions – in these schools that was not observed. However, these pupils also have the need to express and understand themselves in relation to religion as well as being understood by others. This is a future challenge for RE-research as well as teaching in schools.

The results of this study show, lastly, that the experience and desires expressed by the pupils concerning talking about religion differed to a great extent from the use of dialogue in RE-research. Among the pupils it seemed that the conversation about religion was sacrificed on the altars of tolerance, respect and deference. These results were discussed in relation to the concept of safe space, a concept that needs to be elaborated and sharpened further in RE.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Huddinge: Södertörns högskola, 2021. , p. 330
Series
Södertörn Doctoral Dissertations, ISSN 1652-7399 ; 186
Keywords [en]
Swedish school, religious education, religion and children, religion and youth, safe space, sensemaking, interpretative repertories, categories, tolerance, deference through avoidance, religion and popular culture, religion everywhere, post-Christians, Swedish Muslims
Keywords [sv]
Svenska skolan, svenska grundskolan, religionsundervisning, religionsdidaktik, religion och barn, religion och ungdomar, safe space, meningsskapande, tolkande repertoarer, kategorier, tolernas, populärkultur, religion och populärkultur, religion överallt, postkristna, svenskmuslimer, muslimer, traditionstillhörighet, religiös tillhörighet, positiva samtal, trygga rum
National Category
Religious Studies Educational Sciences
Research subject
Historical Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-44289ISBN: 978-91-89109-55-1 (print)ISBN: 978-91-89109-56-8 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-44289DiVA, id: diva2:1529779
Public defence
2021-03-26, MA624/via länk, Alfred Nobels allé 7, Huddinge, 10:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Part of project
Cultural and religious diversity in primary school (CARDIPS), The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies
Funder
The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies, 30/2013Available from: 2021-03-02 Created: 2021-02-19 Last updated: 2023-04-03Bibliographically approved

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Toleransens altare och undvikandets hänsynsfullhet(1236 kB)1702 downloads
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Jahnke, Fredrik

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • harvard-anglia-ruskin-university
  • apa-old-doi-prefix.csl
  • sodertorns-hogskola-harvard.csl
  • sodertorns-hogskola-oxford.csl
  • Other style
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