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Present absences: Exploring the posthumanist entanglements of school absenteeism
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Learning, Aesthetics, Natural science. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences. (Pedagogiskt arbete)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4197-304X
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
Närvarande frånvaro : Utforskande av skolfrånvarons posthumanistiska sammanvävningar (Swedish)
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.
Series
Linköping Studies in Pedagogic Practices, ISSN 1653-0101 ; 29Linköping studies in education and social sciences, 10
Keyword [en]
school absenteeism; digital registration; software; practices; posthumanism
Keyword [sv]
skolfrånvaro; digitala system; registrering; praktiker; posthumanism
National Category
Pedagogical Work Pedagogy Didactics Learning Educational Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-130460DOI: 10.3384/diss.diva-130460ISBN: 9789176857229 (Print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-130460DiVA: diva2:951239
Public defence
2016-09-09, K3, Kåkenhus, Campus Norrköping, Norrköping, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-08-23 Created: 2016-08-08 Last updated: 2016-08-23Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Seeing red?: The agency of computer software in the production and management of students’ school absences
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Seeing red?: The agency of computer software in the production and management of students’ school absences
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
Keyword
school absence; computer software; feminist relational materialism; assemblage; gender; Deleuze and Guattari
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-98042 (URN)10.1080/09518398.2013.816887 (DOI)2-s2.0-84884317887 (ScopusID)
Available from: 2013-09-26 Created: 2013-09-26 Last updated: 2016-08-23Bibliographically approved
2. The presence of school absenteeism: Exploring methodologies for researching the material-discursive practice of school absence registration
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The presence of school absenteeism: Exploring methodologies for researching the material-discursive practice of school absence registration
2015 (English)In: Cultural Studies - Critical Methodologies, ISSN 1532-7086, E-ISSN 1552-356X, Vol. 15, no 3, 192-202 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In the vast majority of Swedish schools, computer software is used for the registration of the absences and presences of students. How can the material-discursive engagements and practices of registration be researched? The article elaborates, from an agential realist account, on “doing research” in relation to the phenomenon of school absence. Through experimenting with intraviewing, the expressions and actions of materialities are acknowledged and the subject-centrism of conventional humanist qualitative interviewing is questioned. The posthumanist theories engaged with open up a rethinking of the production of data within qualitative research, and a discussion of the inseparability of data, analysis, thinking, and writing. The knowledge created on registration as an embodied, material, affective, and intraactive practice produces school absence as a reality where the computer software is always already a part of the phenomenon and thus needs to be an agential part of researching registration.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2015
Keyword
new methods and methodologies, interviewing, agential realism, posthumanism, Karen Barad, computer software, school absence
National Category
Pedagogical Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-112158 (URN)10.1177/1532708614557325 (DOI)
Available from: 2014-11-17 Created: 2014-11-17 Last updated: 2016-08-23
3. Dexter time: The space, time, and matterings of school absence registration
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Dexter time: The space, time, and matterings of school absence registration
2016 (English)In: Discourse. Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, ISSN 0159-6306, E-ISSN 1469-3739, Vol. 37, no 2, 245-255 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Working with a posthumanist approach, this article explores how the computer software Dexter, used for the registration of students’ absences and presences, is part of the production of different practices of time, place, space, and matter in Swedish schools. The empirical material engaged with comes from two schools, and the students involved are in grades 7–9. The article creates knowledge on how the digital registration of students’ presences, absences, or late arrivals is dependent upon material-discursive practices. The “bodily presences” of students are continually destabilized in relation to Dexter, showing that school absences and presences are (re)shaped depending on relations of spacetimematter.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2016
Keyword
school absence; spacetimematter; computer software; posthumanism; empirical engagements
National Category
Pedagogical Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-118296 (URN)10.1080/01596306.2015.1010073 (DOI)000371016600007 ()
Available from: 2015-05-26 Created: 2015-05-26 Last updated: 2016-08-23

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