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Fundamental Undemocratic Values in Robert A. Heinlein’s Starship Troopers: How to Make Upper Secondary School Students More Self-aware of Their Fundamental Democratic Values
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Democracy and democratic values have stagnated and are under attack. Current criticism of democracy points towards problems with efficiency, leniency towards undemocratic elements, collective problem-solving, and a suspension of the rule of law for public good. One solution to these problems could be to focus on teaching democratic values through literature in school. A suitable novel for this endeavor is the science-fiction novel Starship Troopers, written by Robert A. Heinlein in 1959, since it functions as fictional criticism and an alternative to democracy. However, most of the previous research conducted on Starship Troopers have focused on aspects regarding militarism and fascism. This research paper differs because it focuses specifically on how democracy is critiqued in the novel and how this critique could be used to teach democratic values. Teaching democratic values should be conducted since democracy and democratic values are arguably the most essential aspects of the fundamental values of the Swedish school system. Still, the relevant school policy documents do not define how these fundamental values are connected to the system of democracy and how they could be taught in a classroom. In order to fill that gap, this paper aims to use the theories and methods of didactic potential, Socratic pedagogy, and the politics of advocacy, attack, and assent to help students become more self-aware of their fundamental democratic values. The analysis demonstrates that Starship Troopers criticizes essential elements of democracy and complements those elements with its own alternative fundamental elements and values. The analysis also demonstrates how this critique can be used as a complement in a philosophical discussion that helps students become more self-aware of their fundamental democratic values.       

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 37
Keywords [en]
Democracy, Fundamental democratic values, Starship Troopers, Robert A. Heinlein, Socratic pedagogy, Politics of advocacy, attack, and assent, Didactic potential
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URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-169752OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-169752DiVA, id: diva2:1325482
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Available from: 2019-08-19 Created: 2019-06-16 Last updated: 2019-08-19Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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  • apa
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