The music classroom in focus: everyday culture, identity, governance and knowledge formation

Claes Ericsson, Monica Lindgren, Bo Nilsson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This article is based on a larger research project with the purpose to study how market aesthetics and student’s music culture are expressed in the Swedish music classroom. The empirical material consists of video observations of classroom activities in secondary school settings in Sweden. The theoretical framework consists of poststructuralist and social constructionist theory combined with theories of late modernity, while our methodological point of departure is discourse analysis. Some important analytical concepts are identity, dominance, governance and knowledge formation. Three different strategies for incorporating market aesthetics and students’ music culture into music education were identified: learning about, reflecting on and applying. An ideological dilemma occurred when the fostering mission of school was confronted with the will to meet the students’ demands for freedom of expression. The results of the project also suggest that standardised and regulated forms of activity were counterproductive to creativity in music making. Six different strategies of gentle governance in the music classroom were identified. Popular music was presented by the teachers in a way analogous to the canon of art music that is predominant in the teaching of music history at school.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)135-150
    Number of pages15
    JournalNordic Research in Music Education
    Publication statusPublished - 2010

    Swedish Standard Keywords

    • Pedagogy (50301)


    • Music classroom
    • discourse
    • everyday culture
    • identity
    • market aesthetics
    • music education


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