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Psykologi på schemat: Formeringen av ett skolämne, 1960–2015

Publicerad:8 januari
Uppdaterad:15 februari

Ebba Christina Blåvarg vill med sin avhandling öka kunskapen om skolämnet psykologi och hur det har formerats i det svenska skolväsendet.


Ebba Christina Blåvarg


Professor Joakim Landahl, Stockholms universitet. Professor Annika Ullman, Stockholms universitet. Docent Anna-Lena Kempe, Stockholms universitet


Professor Daniel Lundberg, Linnéuniversitetet

Disputerat vid

Stockholms universitet



Abstract in English

The school subject psychology in Sweden has undergone several extensive transformations during the period 1960–2015. Since the launch of Läroplan för gymnasiet 1965, psychology is a part of the national curriculum for upper secondary level as a standalone school subject in Sweden. However, it has been formulated differently within different discursive practices.

This thesis focuses on the formation of the school subject psychology by analyzing texts on the subject from mainly three different practices where the subject is constructed. The first is a bureaucratic space that includes public policy texts developed through cooperation and regulation by way of bureaucratic processes. The second is a practice-oriented space and it includes teaching materials such as textbooks produced by publishers and individual authors. The third practice is a professional space and includes the discourse on the school subject psychology among teachers in the subject teacher’s association, teacher magazines and debate articles. Through a discursive perspective, the source material from these practices have been analyzed both by focusing on each space separately, and in parallel.

Overall, the discourse on the school subject psychology has changed dynamically during the focused period, in the different spaces, which is depicted in detail with examples and excerpts. In addition, four overarching discourse orders are presented. First, the overarching empirical and scientific stance that permeated the subject at the beginning of the national curriculum in the 1960s. Later, in the 1990s and 2000s, an inward shift in subject focus, from being useful for understanding the world with a critical view, to critically examining and evaluating various psychological theories. However, perhaps the most unexpected finding are two major orders of discourse that can be seen in between these in time. Firstly, an overall vivid activity in all the practices and the major change that the subject underwent in the 1970s, in conjunction with the subject revision in 1979. And secondly, the extensive and almost absolute silence that followed in relation to the subject psychology.

This thesis contributes to the research field by mapping the formation of psychology as a school subject in Sweden through different discursive practices, as well as highlighting various orders of discourse in relation to psychology as a school subject.

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