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Social Pedagogy in Finland and Sweden: A comparative analysis
University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu, Finland.
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Education and Adult Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1398-5729
2016 (English)In: Pedagogia Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, ISSN 1139-1723, no 27, 71-93 p.Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

Discussing how the concept of social pedagogy has been used in Finland and Sweden, this paper provides a historical and systemic comparison of policies and practices of social pedagogy in these two countries. The main aim is to identify and explain the main similarities and differences between the Finnish and Swedish national trajectories of social pedagogical thinking and action. In the first phase of the analysis, country-specific features of social pedagogy were described paying attention to historical and structural aspects. In the second phase, these descriptions were compared in a dialogue between the authors, one from Finland and the other from Sweden. The dialogue-based comparison was targeted to explain the identified similar and different features of social pedagogical policies and practices. The explanation was based on historical and systemic considerations, especially those of historical development, research activities, theory buildings, methodologies and techniques, professionalization and the practice fields, and the future prospects of social pedagogy. The analysis showed that the historical roots and theoretical foundations of social pedagogical thinking and action are very similar in Finland and Sweden but the position of social pedagogy as an academic discipline as well as a field of practice is partly different. Since social pedagogy has not been acknowledged as an academic discipline in Sweden, its outlook as a field of practice is on shaky ground, while in Finland the future of social pedagogy as an academic discipline is uncertain because the social-pedagogical know-how based on academic education is not well known and has not found general acceptance in the field’s practice.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Madrid, Spain: Universidad Nacional de Educacion a Distancia (U N E D) , 2016. no 27, 71-93 p.
Keyword [en]
Social Pedagogy
National Category
Social Work
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-123875DOI: 10.7179/PSRI_2016.27.05OAI: diva2:893515
Available from: 2016-01-12 Created: 2016-01-12 Last updated: 2016-02-03Bibliographically approved

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Eriksson, Lisbeth
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Education and Adult LearningFaculty of Educational Sciences
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