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Becoming a Cool Male Hero, a Globetrotter, a Smart Entrepreneur or a Hard Working Girl Student: Gender, ethnicity and class in the branding of Swedish upper secondary school educational programmes
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Education, Department of Education.
2010 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract

In Sweden has, as in many other countries, neoliberal discourses invaded the public sector. One effect of the neoliberal assemblage of discourses that highlights consumption, individualism, market relations, competition, economical management and free choice is an increased amount of private actors and profit driven education companies in the education sector, which has underpinned an increased competition for students. Hereby are Swedish public as well as private schools in Sweden today increasingly forced to invent new catchy education programmes and branches and find new cool way to present, advertise and brand the school and the educations they offer teenagers and their parents to stay on the market. Inspired by poststructuralism, feminism and critical masculinity studies (Biricik & Hearn 2009), fashion and consumption research (Edwards 2000), Cultural Studies (Gilbert 2008), discourse theory (Laclau & Mouffe 1985/2001) and Visual Cultural Studies (Sturken & Cartwright 2001), and by taking my point of departure in the branding and marketing of private and public upper secondary schools and their educational programmes in a Swedish municipality between 2008 and 2010, I will discuss on the one hand how gender, class, ethnicity, and other categories are used, reworked and contested in the schools attempts to win teenage students, and on the other hand discuss what elements, knowledge and skills that are emphasized and what idealized pupil that are constituted in the text, images and advertisements presenting the schools and education programmes for teenagers and their parents. The material, which have been analysed with the tools offered in Discourse Theory (Laclau and Mouffe 1985/2001) and in Visual Cultural Study (Sturken & Cartwright 2001), consists of carrier guides and other material handed out to teenager pupils in school year eight and nine, presentations of programmes and school published on the municipality and the schools web pages and photos and ethnographic observations from a yearly trade fair where the schools in the region present the programmes and branches they offer for the pupils in school year eight and nine. In the conclusion is it argued that the new neoliberal grounded Swedish school policy and the increased competition for students has increased the stereotype gender-, class- and ethnic coding of educational programs and schools and thereby also underpinned a increased gender- class- and ethnic segregation in the Swedish upper secondary school education system.



Bibliography



Biricik, Alp & Hearn, Jeff (eds.) 2009: Deconstructing the Hegemony of Men and Masculinities. GEXcel Work in Progress Report Volume VI, spring 2009. Linköping University.



Edwards, Tim 2006: Cultures of Masculinity.London: Routledge.

Gilbert, Jeremy 2008: Gilbert, Jeremy 2008: Anticapitalism and Culture. Radical Theory and Popular Politics. Oxford, New York: Berg.

Laclau, Ernesto & Mouffe, Chantal

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010.
Keywords [en]
educational programmes, consumption, branding, gender, class, ethnicity, masculinity, Other research relevant to Teachers Education
National Category
Gender Studies
Research subject
Gender Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-10307OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-10307DiVA, id: diva2:493838
Conference
Teen and Consumption, Norrköping 21-23 juni 2010
Projects
Maskulinitet på schematAvailable from: 2012-02-08 Created: 2012-02-08 Last updated: 2013-06-12Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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