Milda makter! Utvecklingssamtal och loggböcker som disciplineringstekniker
The title of this thesis indicates a Foucaultian perspective on power, regarding it as pluralistic and mobile; nobody owns the power, but it is voiced through and in social relations and positions. It also indicates that today’s disciplining techniques are understood to be pastoral and mild. Modern teachers seldom give orders they seem to talk or negotiate. Disciplining, in this case, would be seen as processes to exert influence on students: forming, guiding and developing. These techniques development talks and log books individualising and reflexive, point to new ways of disciplining that particularly seem to reflect the interplay and communication between students and teachers. In Sweden development talks became compulsory in 1994. Log books, generally introduced in the beginning of 1980, have step by step become common in Swedish schools up to year nine. This study has ethnographic features, but the main object of analysis is communication in texts and talk. I have analysed twelve development talks with twelve year old pupils (school year 6) and log books, written by fifteen year old students (school year 9), from two different schools. The results show that development talks and log books are important as educational tools for influencing and stabilising the individualisation of students and their approach to themselves, their schoolwork, their lives and their future. These tools shape "school selves" in varying, yet distinctly normative ways. The teacher’s gaze will, so to speak, be transformed into the student's own internalized watching gaze. The result or the learning which both development talks and log books mediate to students is a kind of reflexivity that might be compared with "double bookkeeping", that is, the gap between the things you find that you ought to be able to achieve and what you actually are able achieve. This "double bookkeeping" is to some extent based on certain conceptions of the world. That world could be summarized in the term "a culture of presentation" which will also lead to a particular outlook on people. According to that outlook the norm would be always to show off a competent self, even when it comes to weakness. You should at least know the noble art of presenting an attractive narrative about yourself.
University of Gothenburg. Faculty of Education
Department of Education
Göteborg : Acta Universitatis Gothoburgensis
Language: Swedish with summary in English. Public defence: 2008-05-23, Kjell Härnqvistsalen, Pedagogen, hus A, kl 13.15
Göteborg studies in educational sciences