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Education instead of Prohibition – Sweden and the Covid-19 pandemic

Lina Rahm, Ragnar Holm postdoc at the division (Posthumanities Hub), has published a new article in Socialmedicinsk Tidskrift on Sweden’s approach to the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic. In Folkbildning som krishantering och krishantering som folkbildning a strategy was analysed, which instead of putting emphasis on restrictions and prohibition, focussed on citizen’s self-regulation. This highly relevant article joins the discourse at a time, in which the Swedish way of getting through the pandemic is hotly debated in other European countries. The article is a valuable contribution, definitely worth a read.

If you are interested, you can find it here.

 

Abstract in English:

The Swedish strategy for handling the coronavirus pandemic is internationally distinctive. While other countries shut down big parts of society and order citizens to stay at home, the Swedish approach is one of information and ”enlightenment” where citizens are expected to voluntarily regulate themselves. Swedish citizens are to be educated rather than prohibited. This article is based on interviews with 10 voluntary civil organizations, and explores the ”educational imaginaries” that signifies their actions during the crisis. The article shows that citizen education becomes a way to manage the crisis, by relaying governmental information to target groups that would otherwise be hard to reach, but also that the crisis becomes a way to initiate educational efforts both broadly and specifically, within the organization as well as towards its target groups.

 

Abstract in Swedish

Den svenska strategin för att hantera coronapandemin särskiljer sig internationellt. När andra länder stänger ner stora delar av samhället och beordrar medborgarna att stanna inne är istället Sveriges styrningsrationalitet en form av informations- och upplysningskampanj där medborgarna genom ökad kunskap förväntas frivilligt reglera sig själva för att minska den samhälleliga spridningen av viruset. Sveriges medborgare ska folkbildas snarare än hindras och förbjudas. Denna artikel bygger på intervjuer med 10 frivilligorganisationer och utforskar de ”utbildningspolitiska tankefigurer” som kännetecknar deras agerande under krisen. Artikeln visar att folkbildning blir sätt att hantera krisen på ett flertal sätt, genom att återge myndigheters budskap till grupper som annars kunde varit svåra att nå, men också att krishanteringen blir ett sätt att initiera utbildningsinitiativ på bred och fokuserad front, både inom organisationen och till dess målgrupper.

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