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Seeing red?: The agency of computer software in the production and management of students’ school absences
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Learning, Aesthetics, Natural science. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. (Pedagogiskt arbete)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4197-304X
2013 (English)In: QSE. International journal of qualitative studies in education, ISSN 0951-8398, E-ISSN 1366-5898, Vol. 26, no 9, 1117-1131 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

An increasing number of Swedish municipalities use digital software to manage the registration of students’ school absences. The software is regarded as a problem-solving tool to make registration more efficient, but its effects on the educational setting have been largely neglected. Focusing on an event with two students from a class of 11-year-olds, the aim of the paper is to explore schools’ common uses of computer software for registering absence in order to understand how materialities – like the software – are entangled with the production of school absence. In the paper, the Deleuzio–Guattarian concept of the assemblage is put to work within a feminist relational materialist framework. This enables an understanding of the complexity of school absence, where materialities of the educational setting are theorized as entangled with social and gendered discursive components.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2013. Vol. 26, no 9, 1117-1131 p.
Keyword [en]
school absence; computer software; feminist relational materialism; assemblage; gender; Deleuze and Guattari
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-98042DOI: 10.1080/09518398.2013.816887ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84884317887OAI: diva2:651521
Available from: 2013-09-26 Created: 2013-09-26 Last updated: 2016-08-23Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Present absences: Exploring the posthumanist entanglements of school absenteeism
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Present absences: Exploring the posthumanist entanglements of school absenteeism
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Närvarande frånvaro : Utforskande av skolfrånvarons posthumanistiska sammanvävningar
Abstract [en]

The aim of the study is to explore how school absenteeism as a material-discursive phenomenon is produced in the practices of humans and nonhumans, when absences and presences are registered and managed through digital technologies. How is the phenomenon of school absenteeism produced when absences and presences are digitally registered? How does the phenomenon of school absenteeism emerge when both human and nonhuman entanglements are included in the apparatuses of knowing?

Through a posthumanist approach, the study engages empirically with two types of software for the registration of absences and presences at three Swedish schools. The results show that digital registration blurs the division between absences and presences, and queers what is absent and what is present. Digital registration produces school absenteeism as a phenomenon for all students every day, and at the same time as mainly for the students who are present most of the time. A conclusion that is drawn from the study is that digital registration makes absences present, by the visualization and performative repetition of the registration. The study points to how school absenteeism is always ‘in the making’, and proposes the concept of school absenteeing as a productive way to open up new possibilities in relation to students’ absences.

Abstract [sv]

Syftet med studien är att undersöka hur skolfrånvaro som materiellt-diskursivt fenomen produceras i mänskliga/icke-mänskliga praktiker, när frånvaro och närvaro hanteras och registreras med hjälp av digitala system. Hur produceras fenomenet skolfrånvaro när elevers frånvaro och närvaro registreras digitalt? Hur framträder fenomenet skolfrånvaro när människor såväl som icke-människor inkluderas i kunskapsproduktionen?

I studien skapas empiriska engagemang tillsammans med två digitala system för registrering av frånvaro och närvaro på tre svenska skolor. Genom ett posthumanistiskt perspektiv visar studien att den digitala registreringen suddar ut gränserna mellan frånvaro och närvaro. I sammanvävningar med digitala system blir fenomenet skolfrånvaro mer komplext, eftersom den digitala registreringen producerar skolfrånvaro som ett fenomen för alla elever, varje dag. Samtidigt reducerar den digitala registreringen skolfrånvarons komplexitet och skapar ett fenomen för de elever som för det mesta är närvarande. En slutsats från studien är att registreringen gör vad som är osynligt – det frånvarande – synligt. Studien pekar på hur skolfrånvaro alltid är ett görande och introducerar begreppet school absenteeing [skolfrånvarogöra]. Detta begrepp möjliggör en förståelse av skolfrånvaro som en pågående produktion i mänskliga/icke-mänskliga relationer, snarare än något som elever har eller är och öppnar upp för nya sätt att engagera sig i den alltid närvarande frånvaron.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2016. 116 p.
Linköping Studies in Pedagogic Practices, ISSN 1653-0101 ; 29Linköping studies in education and social sciences, 10
school absenteeism; digital registration; software; practices; posthumanism, skolfrånvaro; digitala system; registrering; praktiker; posthumanism
National Category
Pedagogical Work Pedagogy Didactics Learning Educational Sciences
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-130460 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-130460 (DOI)9789176857229 (Print) (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-09-09, K3, Kåkenhus, Campus Norrköping, Norrköping, 13:15 (English)
Available from: 2016-08-23 Created: 2016-08-08 Last updated: 2016-08-23Bibliographically approved

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