Synen på skrivande: Föreställningar om skrivande i mediedebatter och gymnasieskolans läroplaner

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)


This dissertation is about the view of writing. One of the intentions of the study is to analyse different notions of writing that become manifest in media debates about student writing. Another intention is to analyse conceptions of writing in curricula and course plans for upper secondary school in Sweden from 1970 to 2011.
Drawing from theories of critical discourse analysis, the study aims at answering what is said about student writing, describing the language tools the debaters use, and discussing and explaining how and why the discursive struggle about the view of writing evolves and develops. The source material consists of newspaper articles and periodicals from the 70’s, the 90’s and our time in mostly Swedish, and some American, publications and the curricula and course plans of Lgy 70, Lpf 94 and Gy 2011.
The results show that there is and has been a popular discourse of writing in Sweden about the students’ lacking writing abilities. The articles are often structured in a similar fashion and share elements. There is, thus, a specific writing crisis genre, which is consistent over time and can also be identified in articles from the U.S. The articles are overly dramatic with an extensive use of paratextual elements, and the authors often use the language manipulatively, for instance by presupposing that the students’ skills are deficient, without any evidence to support the statements. The authors repeatedly draw on a number of discourses and myths about writing.
The curricula and course plans have mostly focused on skills and academic preparation, even though the general parts of the curricula have been progressive. In Lgy 70, writing in vocational programmes is skills-oriented; in the theoretical programmes writing is mostly skills- and academically oriented, but there are progressive ideals as well. In Lpf 94, the general view of writing is socially oriented, even though the skills orientation is also evident. In Gy 2011, the vocational programmes are skills-oriented, whereas writing is more varied in the theoretical programmes, but the more advanced, the more instrumental the course becomes, a tendency that is manifest in the view of academic writing. The curricula are, at least to some extent, shaped by the popular discourse of writing.
The crisis rhetoric has been overwhelming over the years. Conflicting voices have efficiently been silenced. When the crisis rhetoric becomes hegemonic, it is almost impossible to voice alternative thoughts about writing in school and higher education.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Humanities


  • writing, critical discourse analysis, writing discourses, literacy crisis, curriculum, media debates, students, upper secondary school, higher education, academic writing
Original languageSwedish
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Assistant supervisor
  • Gunnar Andersson, Supervisor
  • Jan Svensson, Supervisor
Award date2017 May 12
Place of PublicationLund
  • Lund University (Media-Tryck)
Print ISBNs978-91-88473-38-7
Electronic ISBNs978-91-88473-39-4
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Apr 12
Publication categoryResearch

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