’Svenska språket, värderingar och sociala koder’? En innehållslig idé- och argumentationsanalys av kanondebatten 2006
Sammanfattning: In this thesis, we have analyzed the Swedish debate about whether to impose a national canon, and make it compulsory in school curricula. Cecilia Wikström, a Liberal MP in Sweden, made the suggestion in July 2006, and the focus of our analysis is the subsequent debate during July and August 2006. Our materials are polemical articles from three Swedish newspapers, which we have examined to find the main ideas and arguments behind the various standpoints. Three issues have been our main focus; first, we have analyzed which concepts of culture the various debaters have used, where we have seen a difference between an anthropological and an aesthetical concept, but, surprisingly, found that there isn’t a very strong correlation between an aesthetical concept of culture and being pro-canon, or between an anthropological concept of culture and being anti-canon. Secondly, we have analyzed how the different arguments in the debate related the political ideas, in this case “Nationalism”, ”A will to broaden the current canon”, and “Reach out to disadvantaged children” with literature. According to nationalism we could, in some cases, even identify right populist tendencies. The third issue that we have analyzed is how the various arguments relate to three different cultural rationales made up by Danish cultural sociologist Dorte Skot-Hansen. These three rationales are humanistic rationale, focusing on giving all people in a society access to “good” culture, a sociological rationale focused on giving different social groups the ability to express their own culture, and an instrumental rationale where a main focus of cultural policy is becoming visible, and generating profit or things not directly related to culture itself. We found, not surprisingly, that the sociological rationale was dominated by actors against canon, and that pro-canon actors belonged to the humanistic rationale.
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