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Kunskapsskolorna: En diskursanalys av texter om kunskap och bildning i de socialistiska tidskrifterna Äpplet och KRUT från 1981-1991
Södertörn University, School of Historical and Contemporary Studies.
2013 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This essay examines ideas about knowledge and cultivation (a word used in Sweden to describe integration of knowledge in personality and judgement) in two socialist periodicals during the 1980’s and early 90’s. KRUT, translated Critical Education Review, was founded in 1977. Inspired by John Dewey’s educational philosophy they argued that activity is the key for pupils’ learning. Four years later Äpplet, in Sweden meaning “the apple”, entered the debate estimating school to go back to basics: to let teachers teach and pupils listen.    

My theoretical and methodological framework is discourse analysis. Language is viewed as an ever-changing structure where presence is determined by absence. Knowledge is certain, as Äpplet argue, in contrary to relative, as KRUT argue. These opposite perspectives follow historical patterns that can be used as support for different interpretations of socialism. Äpplet’s writers describe knowledge in what you may call a traditional manner, as a quantity alone, meaning the politicians’ task is to spread it to the working class, no differently from how they have always done to the upper classes.   

But this notion of knowledge is at the time challenged by the increasingly accepted understanding of it as personal. KRUT followed a socialist movement that in educational reforms saw an opening towards an equal society. Their writers accordingly criticized the idea of objectivity to reproduce the bourgeois’ interests and world view. But absolute relativism combined with pragmatics lead to the paradox that knowledge is solely subjective and still is something (subjective). Writers in Äpplet and other socialists have accused the idea of relativity to be contra productive as it only diminishes the socialist cause.    

As knowledge is viewed exclusively as a means in KRUT, there are no apparent differences between their definitions of knowledge and cultivation. The same inconsistency appears in Äpplet, but turned on its head, where knowledge and cultivation are both discussed as properties, which implicates that some are cultivated, whilst others are not. That these statements are only meaningful as antitheses mean they equaled each other out rather than challenging the political educational system. The debate arose in an environment where knowledge was politically marked as a question for macro-economics. It has been since.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 37 p.
Keyword [sv]
bildning, diskurs, kunskap, krut, nyhumanism, socialdemokraterna, äpplet
National Category
History of Ideas
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-20184OAI: diva2:664752
Subject / course
History of Ideas
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2013-11-18 Created: 2013-11-17 Last updated: 2014-12-18Bibliographically approved

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