An Investigation of the Cultural Content in English Instructional Materials Used in Sweden’s Secondary Education

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An Investigation of the Cultural Content in English Instructional Materials Used in Sweden’s Secondary Education

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Publication Student essay 15hp
Title An Investigation of the Cultural Content in English Instructional Materials Used in Sweden’s Secondary Education
Author Wickersham, William
Date 2020
English abstract
This thesis is a two-pronged analysis of the cultural content in two instructional materials series presently meant for use in the English language instruction in Swedish secondary education, and it integrates an examination of surface and deep cultural content with an ideology analysis focused on the representation of nations and the international world. The driving impetus of this thesis is an interest in the representation of culture meeting the students in their instruction. A theoretical framework has been used with perspectives on surface and deep culture, intercultural communicative competence, and theories of nationalism as an ideology. The study shows that the Swedish materials promote the development of communication skills across cultural boundaries to a greater extent than some international research would suggest, but confirms results from other related studies. The majority of the cultural content was found to be surface-level and is best understood as objective or static topics of culture which do little to prepare the readers to be critical, intercultural citizens. The materials were found to be strongly structured around the nation-state, and the argument is made that the materials feature international content with a national-perspective. The materials were also found to reproduce ethno- national sentiment when representing specifically the United States and Britain, where a great deal of the content is focused. This study shows that a combination of these two approaches provides a more complete consideration of the materials and produces important results, not only for the scholarly community, but for teachers and instructional material design.
Publisher Malmö universitet/Lärande och samhälle
Language eng (iso)
Subject Cultural Content Analysis
power relations
socialization
international communicative competence
surface culture
deep culture
nationalism
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/32199 Permalink to this page
Link to publication in DiVA Find this research publication in DiVA.
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