Fordoms makt : Elevers fortellinger om andregjøring – bruk, praksis og erfaringer
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The power of prejudice : Students' stories about othering – use, practice, and experiences. This PhD-research project is based on interviews with 33 young people exploring the use of prejudice among students. Applying theoretical perspectives from history didactics, the thesis demonstrates how prejudices are narratives that are applied, in contrast to traditional studies that examine prejudices from individual viewpoints. The study differs in this way from traditional prejudice research by looking at prejudices as cultural references rather than as individual attitudes. The concepts of historical consciousness and narrative competence provide analytical tools to look at how context influences individuals’ experience, interpretation and orientation in everyday life. This is how this research project views both cultural structures and the individuals' room for maneuver in interaction. The findings show that prejudice is dependent on common references. However, words and concepts, such as group-based slurs, change meaning content based on who is involved. We thus communicate not only by virtue of what we say or what we do, but also through who we are and who others perceive that we are. Identity is linked to historical identities, which in turn means that we must relate to events prior to our own lifetime when rules are developed in social interaction. Skin color and religion are examples of markers that set the premises to evoke stories. Nevertheless, the findings show that relationship and intention can override this as a premise provider for meaning behind words and concepts. Though, for example, skin color will always be a factor that those involved must relate to, considering the world outside the individuals involved, and their interpretation of social interaction. When rules are established, they construct historical realities by defining relations between groups. In this way, power relations between groups can be both reproduced and renegotiated. Prejudices exist as well-known stories in a cultural archive. These can be obtained as interpretations in everyday life. This means that prejudices do not have to be expressed or articulated to work. An experience of exclusion can, for example, be interpreted in the context of the outside world meeting you with prejudice. Prejudice is in many contexts linked to humor, either by students using prejudice to be funny or by students using humor as a resistance strategy against prejudice. Being funny brings you to high social status in society and is therefore a tempting tool to use in social interaction. However, humor is also risky - you can risk not being funny or insulting someone. If you are funny, the status increases. It is likely that being funny has a high status also because it communicates self-confidence due to the risk. If you use self-irony on behalf of yourself, the risk falls, if you use self-irony on behalf of the group you belong to, the risk is associated with insulting others from the same group. Humor is very often linked to common references, and knowledge of well-known stories is therefore essential for understanding humor. Prejudice in teaching occurs both as unforeseen events in the classroom and continuity from master narratives in textbooks. Master narratives can be simplified and unvarnished teaching of history if they are not open to more perspectives and critical explorations. By opening stories, more students can seek affiliations to history, and feel ownership of the storytelling. This can be done, for example, by taking a starting point in the present and examining how the world has become as it is to this day. At the same time, students explore their historical consciousness. When teaching topics about groups that are represented among the students, students who represent the group can be involved - either as an explicit choice from the teacher or as expectations from their fellow students putting the spotlight on them. This experience can be both a moment of recognition, or as a stigmatizing event. What determines whether this will be a good or bad experience is related to the student's status in the class, the status of the student's group affiliation in the class and in society in general, as well as the premises on which the teaching's master narratives are based. Unforeseen events in the classroom are complex, and it is important to understand the context to analyze functions and meanings. An example of such an interpretation is to see events as opposition to an established history culture in combination with the absence of the anti-prejudice norm, possible acceptance, and support to the prejudices. Prejudices exist as references in our cultural archive. They are created historically and are reproduced socially by bringing them in from the sea of stories in our surroundings. In this way, prejudices work as tough structures that limit and suppress people. At the same time, we find that good strategies in working against prejudice and liberating events take place every day. A reflected practice in schools that work against prejudice is developed by understanding prejudices as structures we find around us while simultaneously acknowledging the power that exists in the liberating moments.