This article explores bildning as a central concept in the development of the explicit cultural policy of the Swedish government. It takes its point of departure in how the concept of bildning was interpreted by Arthur Engberg, the minister responsible for cultural policy in the Social Democrat governments 1932–1939. In his interpretation bildning was liked both to upholding the high arts and the national culture and to the idea of re-invigorating these through cultural policy and education. The article continues by looking at the role and the interpretations of this concept in the later government reports and government bills aiming to cover the entirety of Swedish cultural policy, i.e. the government bills of 1974, 1996 and 2009, and the preceding reports. I suggest that the concept of bildning – and specifically Engberg’s interpretation of this concept – contributed to shaping the specific form taken by explicit cultural policy in Sweden under Engberg’s leadership, and that this approach has influenced later Swedish cultural policies, including the cultural policy bill of 1974. In more recent decades, more pluralistic approaches to cultural policy and bildning appear to have started to replace this path dependency in cultural policy, but the focus on established cultural institutions still remains. The reasoning in this article is based on the concept of path dependency, in the sense that historical decisions are considered to limit possible decisions later in history, thus steering history on a path, which may or may not be in line with the intentions of the original decision-makers.
I denne artikkelen rettes oppmerksomheten mot kulturelle verdier som oppstår gjennom en folkelig interesse for praktisk-estetiske læringsaktiviteter. Hvordan kan de tolkes i forhold til dagens travle og oppsplittede samfunn? Husflid, dans og håndverk er verken nødvendig eller ansett som nyttig kunnskap i vår tid. Overføring og ivaretaking av slike kunnskaper og ferdigheter skjer ofte som interessebasert og selv-valgt læring gjennom deltakelse i frivillige organisasjoner og ulike former for studievirksomhet (formell, ikke-formell og u-formell). Praktisk-estetiske aktiviteter og emner blir i den frivillige sektorens organisasjoner og studieforbundenes kurstilbud kategorisert som fritid og hobby. Det er en kategorisering som ikke nødvendigvis stemmer for alle aktive og deltakende personer i dette læringslandskapet.
Konkret er det betydninger av folks selv-valgte læringsinteresse for praktisk-estetiske aktiviteter i samtiden som står i fokus her. Hvorfor velger mennesker å fordype seg i og fortsette å lære dans, husflid og håndverksfag? Hva er det kulturpolitiske potensialet av denne interessen? Paradokset er at man velger å forfølge en interesse som bygger på helt andre verdier enn det samfunnskulturen for øvrig etterspør og verdsetter. Hva sier dette om fenomenets potensielt motkulturelle verdi? I artikkelen viser vi at informantene kan sies å representere en motkultur i form av en livsstil som representerer en annen måte å leve på og andre verdier vedrørende tid, skikkelighet, nytte og mening enn de som etterspørres i den nye kapitalismen. Den praktisk-estetiske læringsinteressens kulturelle verdier er komplekse og politisk overgripende ved at læringen beveger seg i et skjæringspunkt mellom flere sektorer, såsom bildning/utdannelse, sosialt arbeid, miljø og kultur. I hvilken grad det motkulturelle trekket anerkjennes å ha en samfunnskulturell betydning er imidlertid et åpent spørsmål.
Nøkkelord: Folkeopplysning/folkelig opplysning, selvvalgt læringsinteresse, frivillig læring, frivillige kulturorganisasjoner, praktisk-estetisk læringsaktivitet, motkulturell verdi
In this article we will focus on which cultural values that people´s interest in practical-aesthetic learning activities have in the common busy and splinted society. Dance and crafts is neither necessary nor understood as useful knowledge in our time. Transmission and safeguarding of these kind of knowledge and skills often arise as a result of chosen and interest based learning and through participation in organizations and different forms of study activity (formal, un-formal and informal) in a landscape of volunteerism. Practical-aesthetic learning activities are categorized as leisure and hobby due to their existence within the organizations of voluntary sector and offered as part of the study organizations training courses. That does not always be true for the persons that are active and participating in this landscape.
It is people’s interest and choice of practical- aesthetic activity and its role in our time that is in focus in this article. Why do people choose to deepening in and continue learn dance and crafts? What is the cultural political significance of this interest? In contemporary time it seems like a paradox that people choose to deepen an interest that rests on values contradicting the dominant values in society. What does this tell about this phenomenon’s potential as a countercultural value?
The characteristics of the informants’ lifestyle are interpreted as a potential counterculture. This way of living are based on values of time, skill, usefulness and meaning different from those asked for in the new capitalism. Practical-aesthetic learning activities cultural values are complex and political overarching. Learning takes place in the intersection between several political sectors, such as education, cultural, social and environmental issues. In what sense this countercultural phenomenon will be measured societal impact is still an open question.
The Norwegian folk high schools are value-based institutions with a 150-year history. As such, these schools have a continual need to reinterpret and redefine the values on which they were founded. This article examines how the Norwegian folk high schools redefine the religious values that are part of their movement’s heritage. Initially, the context of the Norwegian folk high schools is presented with an overview of the history of the movement and the laws governing the schools, along with relevant research. The second part of the article refers to an empirical study involving the text analysis of value documents from two folk high schools. Reification is introduced as the central analytical concept and defined from Etienne Wenger’s use of the term in his presentation of the theory of communities of practice. In the analysis, the value documents are understood as a presentation of reifications in the schools’ negotiation of meaning. As the reified values are categorised, the text analysis concludes that the documents focus on relational reifications. As the schools reintegrate traditional religious values, these are characteristically bridged or translated by using relational reifications and connecting these to Grundtvig’s legacy.
Syftet för artikeln är att studera snickrandets medborgarskap som det tar sig uttryck i det sociala umgänget på en snickarkurs för seniorer inom institutionaliserad folkbildning i Finland (kallat «kansalaisopisto» på finska, «medborgarinstitut» på svenska). Folkbildning anses bidra till en fungerande demokrati genom sina kollektiva och deltagarorienterade verksamhetsformer och sitt innehåll. Målet med artikeln är att bidra med kunskap om hur detta ideal förverkligas och hur deltagandet i verksamhet inom den institutionaliserade folkbildningen kan förstås som uttrycksformer för medborgarskap. Studien har utförts som en etnografisk fältstudie med forskaren som en av deltagarna på kursen. Kursen pågick under 15 veckor, tre gånger i veckan. Gruppen består av tolv män och en kvinna i åldrarna mellan 60 och 80 år. Forskaren har strävat efter att bli en del av gruppen på dess villkor och att analysera och tolka verksamheten utgående från dess egna utgångspunkter. Snickrandet bland seniorerna i denna studie organiseras som en arbetsgemenskap. I denna gemenskap kan man agera som medborgare utgående från en gemensam värdegrund. Dessa värderingar tar sig uttryck som en strävan mot att uppfylla ett skötsamhetsideal för att kunna upprätthålla en handlingsberedskap som produktiv medborgare.
Nøkkelord: demokrati, medborgarskap, folkbildning, hantverk, snickeri, etnografi
The purpose of this article is to study how the social interactions exhibited at a woodworking course for seniors within institutionalized popular education in Finland («kansalaisopisto» in Finnish, «medborgarinstitut» in Swedish) contribute to the participants' conceptualization of their citizenship. Popular education is considered to contribute to a functioning democracy through its collective and participant-centered activities and content. The aim of the article is to shed some light on how this ideal is realized and contribute knowledge about how participation in institutionalized popular education can be understood as an expression of citizenship. The study was conducted as an ethnographic field study with the researcher as a participant in the course. The course was held three times a week for 15 weeks. The participants consisted of 12 men and a woman between the ages of 60 and 80. The researcher aspired to become a part of the group in order to clarify what goes on in the course through thick descriptions relying on neither going native nor mimicking them. The seniors organize their woodworking in the course as a work community. Within this community, it is possible to act as a citizen in relation to shared basic values. These values are an aspiration to live up to ideals of conscientiousness and diligence in order to remain ready to act as a productive citizen.
The article studies and problematizes how a reading campaign, «Danmark Læser» (Denmark Reads) initiated from the Danish Ministry of Culture problematize the part of the Danish adult population who never or rarely read fiction. The article analyses key documents from «Danmark Læser», as well as recent surveys on cultural participation. This analysis shows several assumptions linked to literature's potential to do good and to the assumption that dialogue about literature is an important element of democracy and societal cohesion. These assumptions shape the way non-reading and non-readers are problematized in the discourse. The article also show that the campaign's focus on non-readers fits into an international discourse about non-users, something that is also supported by the use of participation surveys. The article points out that new forms of media and mediatization of existing art forms seem less recognized as a source of contemplation, ‘Bildung’ and participation, even though digitization of art and culture create opportunities to seek, create, share and participate in creative communities, which seem to contain many of the same characteristics, which are emphasized in reading. The article highlights this as problematic because it may lead to the stigmatization of non-readers.