• Mikkel Fuglsang Hansen
4. semester, Sociologi (cand.scient.soc), Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
This theoretically based project strives to expand upon the existing understanding of the dynamics behind teachers’ authority in the classroom. The goal of the study itself is to provide a picture of currently existing authority types in the modern Danish classroom, through a series of interviews with teachers and a discourse analysis of the public debate surrounding the field. The project concludes that the authority types embodied by the teachers interviewed were spread out over a spectrum between the professional and charismatic authority-types. The second part of the analysis proved to be incompatible with the first part, instead concluding that the public debate perceived teachers as having little to no trust, and thus no authority, from the broad population. While not representative of the whole population, the notion of this trust-relation with the public turns out to make sense from the theoretical perspectives of Anthony Giddens and his approach to expert systems and their legitimisation through professionality.
The project’s theoretical approach is a conjunction of Zygmunt Bauman’s and Anthony Giddens theories on post-modern society and late-modern society. The approach takes Bauman’s theories of the emergence of the critical thinking consumer and the effect this has had on the authority of public institutions. And couples these with Giddens’ theories on the dynamics of trust and authorities. These are used then again with Max Weber’s theories on the different typologies of authority, derived from his work on Herrschaft. This, in tandem with the posthumously added fourth typology, credited to his theory by modern sociologists, has been used to create a theoretical perspective on the evolution of authorities over time, which this project applies to the evolution of the authority embodied by the teacher in the teachers’ authoritative role. The use of this theoretical approach springs from the hypothesis that rather than modern institutional authorities necessarily experiencing a loss of authority, the authority had instead changed. This hypothesis springs from Weber’s notion of authorities needing validation to continue their existence as authorities, the authority receiving validation through the trust of its citizens takes on a new meaning through Giddens’ perspectives on expert systems, as an expression of authority, need to continuously evolve to stay trustworthy. With the added understanding of Bauman’s concept of the critical consumer, we are left with a theory that paints a picture of authoritative institutions in an evolving society and their need to change and adapt to keep up with their citizens expectations from them in order to retain their status as authorities.
Udgivelsesdato8 aug. 2017
Antal sider76
ID: 261354334