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Vi och våra andra Om konstruktionen av de andra i svenska läromedel. En diskursanalys av fem samhällskunskapsböcker för högstadiet.

Lunds universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen
Publication Date
  • Colonial Discourse
  • Postcolonial Theory
  • Textbooks
  • Social Science
  • Education
  • Social Sciences
  • Samhällsvetenskaper
  • Political And Administrative Sciences
  • Statsvetenskap
  • Förvaltningskunskap
  • Social Sciences
  • Law And Political Science
  • Linguistics
  • Political Science
  • Social Sciences


The purpose of this study is to examine to what extent the senior level Swedish school can be viewed as supporting, or counteracting, a colonial discourse that legitimizes global and national injustices. The study is executed through a discourse analysis of five textbooks in social science for senior level Swedish schools. Using elements from Foucault and Edward Said a theoretical framework is constructed, in which a colonial discourse is perceived as structured around four clusters of ideas, namely (i) the use of dichotomies, (ii) the concept of progress and civilization, (iii) the construction of -we- as synonymous with (ii), and (iv) the construction of -the others- as the opposite of (ii) and, therefore, the opposite of -us-. The results show that a colonial discourse is still highly present in the textbooks, in that the texts are structured around dichotomies such as tradition/modernity and democracy/dictatorship. Sweden and the Western world are perceived as closely associated with democracy, freedom, and modernity, whereas -the others- of the world are being associated with e.g. poverty, conflict, tradition, and ignorance. -The others- within Sweden, i.e. people of foreign background in this case, are constructed as traditional, male oppressors, unemployed, criminal, and nondemocratic.

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