Av: Stina Westerlund (2015)
The aim of the thesis is to investigate and analyse students’ expressions of pleasure and displeasure and how these are manifested in actions in the teaching of textile sloyd in lower secondary education. The study’s focus is on students’ expressions of pleasure and displeasure in social action in the working processes of textile sloyd and on how these expressions can be related to learning. The empirical material consists of observations, video and audio recordings, individual interviews and focus group interviews, where video and audio recordings were used as stimulated recall. In all, 32 lessons in textile sloyd and 49 students aged 14-15 years were observed at four different schools. Theoretically, the thesis is based on Mead’s practical intersubjectivity and on Dewey’s theory of experience-based learning and dependence on emotions and actions. Pleasure and displeasure constitute valuating partial aspects of emotions. Based on a socio-cultural perspective, emotions are regarded as practices which arise from different predispositions’ dependence on the social context. The study’s analytical approach is hermeneutical. Critical incidents regarding students’ expressions of pleasure and displeasure in social action found in observations and video and audio recordings were analysed in terms of Mead’s concept of gestures. The events were combined with what the students describe as critical incidents of pleasure and displeasure in the interviews and focus group talks. The material was then thematised. Several situations were then subjected to deeper analysis based on sociality and a change in perspective and related to different concepts of learning. The result of the thesis shows a tripartite semantic structure where students’ pleasure and displeasure in textile sloyd are mainly based on textile sloyd’s specific educational community, students’ relationship to the sloyd object and their experience of the working process. Social interaction, humour and mutual acknowledgement proved to be of importance for the function of pleasure and displeasure in the students’ working processes. The students’ experience of pleasure and displeasure depended on their control of the work, the characteristics of different craft techniques and their awareness of time. Pleasure and displeasure in textile sloyd found an expression in four overarching emotional practices with decisive importance for the students’ opportunities for learning: the repudiating, insecure, accepting and incorporating emotional practice. The study also provides an insight into how different cultural factors enable a certain scope for pleasure and displeasure. In this connection, social changes in relation to objects are discussed, as are changes in sociality and emotionality. Based on the pair of concepts of authenticity and ephemerality and closeness and intensity, cultural changes are visualised that are conceivably important for the students’ experiences of pleasure and displeasure in textile sloyd.