Between stability and contingency
A case study of the social, political and fantasmatic logics of Swedish history classroom practice
Nyckelord:HISTORY DIDACTICS, CLASSROOM PRACTICE, POLITICAL DIMENSION, LOGICS
This study explores the political and ideological workings of history classroom practices enacted in the context of Swedish upper secondary education. Using the post-structuralist logics of critical explanation framework (Glynos & Howarth, 2007), the paper reports on a series of video-recorded observations and outlines the discursive logics found to constitute the studied practices. At the heart of the analysis are the socially shared assumptions, political relationships of us-and-them, and ideological narratives that alternately furnish the history classroom practices with stability and contingency. The results encompass three case-specific logics: (I) a social logic demonstrating that the stability of the studied classroom practices rests on shared assumptions about historical idealism and partial progress, (II) a political logic indicating that the classroom practices are unsettled when students establish temporal equivalence between past and present us-and-them relationships, and (III) a fantasmatic logic showing that teachers and students become ideologically invested in said practices through narratives emphasizing the need to prevent the repetition of past injustices.