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At a close distance: Dropouts, teachers, and joking relationships
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Cultural Sciences. (Centre for Cultural Sociology)
2015 (English)In: American Journal of Cultural Sociology, ISSN 2049-7113, Vol. 3, no 2, 280-308 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Is student joking in school always a counter-school cultural practice? Paul Willis has shown how ‘the laff’, as a practice, functions to allow students to distance themselves from teachers and schoolwork. But is it possible that joking in school can be an asset for learning and other processes, not simply a problem? Using fieldwork from a school for dropouts located in Malmö, a multicultural city in southern Sweden, I show how teachers and students engage in lively joking relationships, a practice in which both parties tease each other without anyone taking offense. Through an analysis of these joking relationships and the ways in which such relationships can both stabilize a social order and work for social transformation, the article illustrates how a joking relationship can favor emotional identification and cultural extension between teachers and students. Contra our assumptions about the disruptive and countercultural power of ‘the laff’ at school, I show how joking relationships facilitate a bidirectional multicultural incorporation in which behavioral patterns originating from youth and popular culture are used as an embodied resource by teachers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Palgrave Macmillan, 2015. Vol. 3, no 2, 280-308 p.
Keyword [en]
ethnography, high school dropouts, joking relationships, multicultural incorporation, Sweden
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Social Sciences, Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-40375DOI: 10.1057/ajcs.2015.1OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-40375DiVA: diva2:790479
Projects
Ett utbildningspolitiskt dilemma: skolprestationer och mångkulturell inkorporering
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2009–6152
Available from: 2015-02-24 Created: 2015-02-24 Last updated: 2015-07-23Bibliographically 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