Explorations of the discourses that shape contemporary bullying prevention in Swedish schools

University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Sociologiska institutionen

Abstract: The first purpose lies in investigating what discursive constructions of bullying prevention exist. The corresponding research question for this purpose is: How may one characterise the main discourses that compete in order to define bullying prevention? The second purpose lies in exploring and comparing discourses concerning bullying prevention in two schools with different socio-economic backgrounds and educational policies as well as the organisation Quadriceps. The corresponding research questions are: Which discourses do respondents in the three organisations studied use when they construct bullying prevention?, How are these discourses patterned and which might be considered as primary and secondary discourses in these schools?, Are discourses constructed differently in the two schools studied with different socio-economic backgrounds and educational policies?Discourse analysis is used to analyze semi structured interviews and documents. Four ideal type discourses are identified. These are the authoritarian, liberal, boundary setting and democratic discourses. The school with a more disciplinarian educational policy as well as the Quadriceps foundation utilizes primarily authoritarian and boundary setting discourses. The school with a more democratically inclined educational policy utilizes primarily democratic and boundary setting discourses. Consequently, discourses regarding bullying prevention are constructed differently in two schools with different socio-economic backgrounds and educational policies. The main similarity between the schools is that they both utilize boundary setting discourses, perhaps indicating that this discourse enjoys a dominating position within the discursive order “bullying prevention”.

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