KONSTRUKTIONEN AV ETNICITET - En kvalitativ studie om hur lärare och studerande upplever etnicitetsperspektivet på socionomprogrammet vid Göteborgs universitet
The primary purpose of this essay is to study and describe how the concept of “ethnicity” is introduced, defined and constructed at the Universities of Social Work Education through the perspectives of students attending and teachers/researchers currently employed at the University of Gothenburg. Also, this study attempts to describe what differences there are between the two groups and how these are expressed. The theoretical perspectives which we have used to analyse the empirical data are social constructivism and postcolonial theories. We have applied a qualitative method based on four interviews with teachers/researchers and two focus group interviews with 14 students. Themes and subthemes covering different parts of the results have been constructed in order to present the material in a manageable matter. The results show that the ethnicity perspective and questions surrounding the subject are perceived as sensitive and elusive. The concept of ethnicity in it self seems to be perceived by both parts as difficult to define and vague. Teachers find the ethnicity perspective difficult to integrate into their own material. Students feel that they are left with unprocessed perceptions and opinions and that this can result in re-establishing and reproducing prejudice. Also, they find contemporary course literature to be on a much too basic level and sometimes containing of non-scientific and biased information. According to most teachers and students, honour related issues are taught out and described in a limited manner. There are, however, obvious differences in how they would like the subject to be approached. Some teachers and students believe that the issues should be looked upon and analysed on the basis of culture, religion and tradition while the majority of the participants perceive it as a phenomenon related to the patriarchal order that prevails in all societies, regardless of religion and ethnic belonging. Students and teachers believe that the motives behind practical class exercises related to these issues are well-intentioned and relevant. Some participants, however, would like more clarity regarding instructions and purpose in order to prevent misunderstandings and unpleasant situations. The majority of students and teachers would like a more integrated and theoretically based ethnicity perspective throughout the education with more advanced and international literature. However, there are differences both between and amongst the different groups concerning which theories and to what extend they want them to be emphasized. Overall, a stronger emphasis on critical thinking, i.e. postcolonial theories as an alternative to traditional culture-orientated approaches, is preferred and students would like for empowerment orientated theories to be more apparent and manifested into the theoretical and practical education concerning fieldwork with clients from ethnic minority groups.