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Jag vill ha bra betyg: En etnologisk studie om höga skolresultat och högstadieelevers praktiker
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6870-7497
2021 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
I Want Good Grades : An Ethnological Study of Strong School Results and Practices of Pupils in Lower Secondary Education (English)
Abstract [en]

This is a thesis on how pupils at lower secondary school achieve high grades at schools with higher results than average. The purpose of the study is to analyse and bring attention to the way ideas, practices and conditions interact and facilitate strong achievements among pupils at lower secondary schools. Material of the study was collected using ethnographic methodology involving qualitative fieldwork methods, such as observations, semi-structured interviews and dialogues. The time-span of the study covers the period 2000-2020. Empirical material was mainly gathered in the university city of Uppsala in Sweden during the period 2000-2010 in classes and schools, with subsequent brief empirical investigations and follow-up in the field. Analytical tools were mainly Political Discourse Theory (PDT) and The Logics Approach.

The results of the thesis show that for most pupils, irrespective of their level of results, the point of schooling was to attain high examination results and grades to qualify for the desired upper secondary education. Their schooldays were structured by a grading regime involving constant performance, examinations, assessments and grading. Other characteristics were individual responsibility, independence, discipline and competition.

Pupils with high grades had a larger number of complex strategies for their schoolwork and a greater ability to verbalise, visualise, reflect on and concretise their strategies. They considered language skills to be important and spent much time and energy on schoolwork in school and at home. Almost all had resourceful parents and relatives with academic backgrounds. Parental support of their schoolwork was extensive and parents communicated commitment, motivation and aspiration to their children in support of their education and future.

The results of the study indicate the necessity of an explorative and holistic perspective on everyday life of pupils and their educational resources for understanding and explaining high-standard results at school. The thesis shows how privileged resourceful pupils are favoured by a neo-liberal school system. The effect of this is social reproduction of pupils’ future education and careers. It brings into focus difficulties that schools have in offering equal education and opportunities in life, and social equality.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Institutionen för kulturantropologi och etnologi , 2021. , p. 249
Series
Etnolore, ISSN 0280-9559 ; 39
Keywords [en]
class, educational capital, ethnography, examinations, future, homework, hot knowledge, grades, lower secondary school, parental involvement, privilege, resources, school achievements, school work, social reproduction, strategies, Sweden
National Category
Ethnology
Research subject
Ethnology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-440397ISBN: 978-91-506-2875-3 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-440397DiVA, id: diva2:1545142
Public defence
2021-06-11, Geijersalen, Engelska parken, Thunbergsvägen 3H, Uppsala, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2021-05-20 Created: 2021-04-19 Last updated: 2023-02-01

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Citation style
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Output format
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