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Learning to do schooling: on jokes and high school dropouts
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Cultural Sciences. (Centrum för kultursociologi)
2014 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

While doing ethnographic fieldwork in a school for high school dropouts in a city in southern Sweden, a lively, often ironic, joking culture between teachers and students was observed, resulting in the following research question: What purposes can joking serve in a school setting for students who have lost faith in their own ability to perform in school? The findings suggest that jokes can support the mobilization of individual cognitive capabilities and that they could function as a kind of pedagogical practice to help students manage, in a more collective way, the double consciousness created by belonging to low-status immigrant groups. The article also sheds light on the question of whether we can understand humor in a high school dropout context as something other than an indicator of a counter-school culture. In dialogue with Paul Willis’s seminal work Learning to labor (1977), the article offers a new understanding of embodied counter-school cultural practices. Instead of a counter-school culture solely acted out by students, there may exist a counter-counter-school culture that is performed by teachers, where students’ cultural practices become resources that are taken over and used by teachers. In comparison with Willis’s results, the present findings show that joking is not always about reproduction in a school context, but that it can bring teachers and students closer to each other in non-conformist ways, in this way allowing conformist spaces to open up for the students.

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014.
Keyword [en]
High school dropouts, Jokes, Cultural sociology, Counter-school culture, Counter-counter-school culture
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Social Sciences, Sociology Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-37006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-37006DiVA: diva2:746647
Conference
27th Conference of the Nordic Sociological Association: "Exploring Blind Spots", Lund, Sweden, August 14-16, 2014
Projects
Ett utbildningspolitiskt dilemma. Skolprestationer och mångkulturell inkorporering
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2014-09-14 Created: 2014-09-14 Last updated: 2014-11-20Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf