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The presence of school absenteeism: Exploring methodologies for researching the material-discursive practice of school absence registration
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Learning, Aesthetics, Natural science. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. (Pedagogiskt arbete)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4197-304X
2015 (English)In: Cultural Studies - Critical Methodologies, ISSN 1532-7086, E-ISSN 1552-356X, Vol. 15, no 3, 192-202 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In the vast majority of Swedish schools, computer software is used for the registration of the absences and presences of students. How can the material-discursive engagements and practices of registration be researched? The article elaborates, from an agential realist account, on “doing research” in relation to the phenomenon of school absence. Through experimenting with intraviewing, the expressions and actions of materialities are acknowledged and the subject-centrism of conventional humanist qualitative interviewing is questioned. The posthumanist theories engaged with open up a rethinking of the production of data within qualitative research, and a discussion of the inseparability of data, analysis, thinking, and writing. The knowledge created on registration as an embodied, material, affective, and intraactive practice produces school absence as a reality where the computer software is always already a part of the phenomenon and thus needs to be an agential part of researching registration.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2015. Vol. 15, no 3, 192-202 p.
Keyword [en]
new methods and methodologies, interviewing, agential realism, posthumanism, Karen Barad, computer software, school absence
National Category
Pedagogical Work
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-112158DOI: 10.1177/1532708614557325OAI: diva2:763869
Available from: 2014-11-17 Created: 2014-11-17 Last updated: 2016-08-23
In thesis
1. Present absences: Exploring the posthumanist entanglements of school absenteeism
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Present absences: Exploring the posthumanist entanglements of school absenteeism
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Närvarande frånvaro : Utforskande av skolfrånvarons posthumanistiska sammanvävningar
Abstract [en]

The aim of the study is to explore how school absenteeism as a material-discursive phenomenon is produced in the practices of humans and nonhumans, when absences and presences are registered and managed through digital technologies. How is the phenomenon of school absenteeism produced when absences and presences are digitally registered? How does the phenomenon of school absenteeism emerge when both human and nonhuman entanglements are included in the apparatuses of knowing?

Through a posthumanist approach, the study engages empirically with two types of software for the registration of absences and presences at three Swedish schools. The results show that digital registration blurs the division between absences and presences, and queers what is absent and what is present. Digital registration produces school absenteeism as a phenomenon for all students every day, and at the same time as mainly for the students who are present most of the time. A conclusion that is drawn from the study is that digital registration makes absences present, by the visualization and performative repetition of the registration. The study points to how school absenteeism is always ‘in the making’, and proposes the concept of school absenteeing as a productive way to open up new possibilities in relation to students’ absences.

Abstract [sv]

Syftet med studien är att undersöka hur skolfrånvaro som materiellt-diskursivt fenomen produceras i mänskliga/icke-mänskliga praktiker, när frånvaro och närvaro hanteras och registreras med hjälp av digitala system. Hur produceras fenomenet skolfrånvaro när elevers frånvaro och närvaro registreras digitalt? Hur framträder fenomenet skolfrånvaro när människor såväl som icke-människor inkluderas i kunskapsproduktionen?

I studien skapas empiriska engagemang tillsammans med två digitala system för registrering av frånvaro och närvaro på tre svenska skolor. Genom ett posthumanistiskt perspektiv visar studien att den digitala registreringen suddar ut gränserna mellan frånvaro och närvaro. I sammanvävningar med digitala system blir fenomenet skolfrånvaro mer komplext, eftersom den digitala registreringen producerar skolfrånvaro som ett fenomen för alla elever, varje dag. Samtidigt reducerar den digitala registreringen skolfrånvarons komplexitet och skapar ett fenomen för de elever som för det mesta är närvarande. En slutsats från studien är att registreringen gör vad som är osynligt – det frånvarande – synligt. Studien pekar på hur skolfrånvaro alltid är ett görande och introducerar begreppet school absenteeing [skolfrånvarogöra]. Detta begrepp möjliggör en förståelse av skolfrånvaro som en pågående produktion i mänskliga/icke-mänskliga relationer, snarare än något som elever har eller är och öppnar upp för nya sätt att engagera sig i den alltid närvarande frånvaron.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2016. 116 p.
Linköping Studies in Pedagogic Practices, ISSN 1653-0101 ; 29Linköping studies in education and social sciences, 10
school absenteeism; digital registration; software; practices; posthumanism, skolfrånvaro; digitala system; registrering; praktiker; posthumanism
National Category
Pedagogical Work Pedagogy Didactics Learning Educational Sciences
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-130460 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-130460 (DOI)9789176857229 (Print) (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-09-09, K3, Kåkenhus, Campus Norrköping, Norrköping, 13:15 (English)
Available from: 2016-08-23 Created: 2016-08-08 Last updated: 2016-08-23Bibliographically approved

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