Normstödjande strukturer: Miljötematiken börjar slå rot i skolan

Translated title of the contribution: Norm Supporting Structures: The Environmental Theme Begins to take Root in Schools

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)

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This thesis explores the various influence processes that take place in connection with the dawn of a new theme - the environment - in today's society. Society has declared that schools, a place designed for the intentional influence of children and youths, shall utilise the new environmental theme in its practice. It focuses on the initiation process of the environmental theme in schools from the standpoint of the adult actors.

My study is following and studying three flows of influence that meet in the local schools. From above come two geographically distant, slow processes of influence, collecting their active impulses from within the system in the form of: firstly, the Environment Amendment to the Act on Education, December, 1990 and the new curricula and syllabi that followed it; and secondly, the Agenda 21 program on the environment and the future, originating in Rio de Janeiro in June, 1992. From below comes the temporally distant and slowly but surely growing environmental interest of the understream. This interest is borne and conveyed by various categories of dedicated individuals (souls of fire) and key actors from the lifeworld in the local schools of the system.

My research is into the meeting described above from structural as well as actor or individually based perspectives. I have utilised close and concrete studies of advanced practice, a practice that has not yet become a custom. In analysis, contextualisation, interpretation, and understanding I introduce my instrument of analysis, the norm triad - values-will, knowledge and opportunities. The norm concept is the point of departure in order to be able to interpret and understand the actions and action patterns of individuals and groups, and is thus the theoretical centre of my research. The point of departure being to methodically start from an action, or maybe rather a habitual action pattern. Phronesis is the best description of the process of change that characterises the school's relationship with work on environmental issues.

An important result of my study is, from this perspective, the understanding that it is knowledge, commitment, and inspiration from the actor's lifeworld that has been allowed - contrary to earlier ideals - to influence the professional role of the school's adult actors. This mode of professional practice has been introduced by exceptionally dedicated individuals or key actors that have acted as forerunners and norm setters in their normative action. This development would not have been possible if the professional and bureaucratic-administrative actors had not adapted to this development by creating norm supporting structures in the local environment of the schools.

This in turn has collected its nourishment and driving force from the distant management and action impulses connected to the policy development that has taken place at the national and international level, especially in relation to the Agenda 21 program. Whether or not the initiation of the environment as a cognitive field in schools will last, still remains to be seen. It will require a development and restructuring of environmental knowledge itself.
Translated title of the contributionNorm Supporting Structures: The Environmental Theme Begins to take Root in Schools
Original languageSwedish
Awarding Institution
  • Department of Sociology of Law
  • [unknown], [unknown], Supervisor, External person
Award date1999 May 21
ISBN (Print)91-89078-78-0
Publication statusPublished - 1999

Bibliographical note

Defence details
Date: 1999-05-21
Time: 10:15
Place: Carolinasalen, Kungshuset, 14.15
External reviewer(s)
Name: Petersen, Hanne
Title: Professor
Affiliation: Grönlands Universitet, Nuuk

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Law and Society

Free keywords

  • schools
  • environmental education
  • lifeworld
  • very dedicated actors (souls of fire)
  • environment
  • sustainable development
  • advanced practice
  • system
  • phronesis
  • normative action
  • norm supporting structures
  • law
  • sociology of law
  • Sociology
  • act on education
  • learning for sustainability
  • norm
  • teachers
  • Agenda 21


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