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Browsing by Subject "Ideaalisubjekti"

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  • Paananen, Noora (2023)
    In this thesis, I examine the construction of the ideal subject in positive psychology learning materials. My research is based on post-structuralism, and my purpose is to examine how the ideal subject is constructed and what kind of control it entails. The material for the thesis consists of the book "The Power of Positive Psychology" (2014), which is used as a positive psychology learning material, approached from the perspective of discourse production. Since I am examining the discourses that appear in the material, I am not interested in individual authors and their thoughts.   The broader context for this study is societal, and in the context of education the concepts of therapisation and neoliberalism, and the relationship between them. I approach positive psychology in the material as a discursive practice, so my aim is to ask what is possible to say and do within the discourse. I ask how the ideal subject is constructed in the material and how the school participates in constructing this ideal subject and what kind of control it requires.   Based on my analysis, the material constructs a positive ideal subject who is flourishing and active. In these discourses, the subject is constantly developing themselves with various mind-controlling techniques. The key factors in the discourses are continuous self-development, positive thinking, and strengthening emotional and strength-based skills. The ideal is constructed in schools under the guidance of an expert teacher, whose task has also become to guide students towards the good life defined by positive psychology. However, the continuous demand for self-improvement and the pursuit of the good life exclude some individuals, as it is not possible for everyone despite its promises.