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  • Vainio, Ella (2022)
    Aim. Earlier studies have shown that textbooks are a crucial tool in teaching. Some theories mean that textbooks create and reproduce a specific outlook on reality. The aim of this study was to review how social studies textbooks in comprehensiveschool in Finland written in Swedish represent different occupations and how workers, employees, employers and entrepreneurs are constructed. The goal was to present who is represented in the textbooks and what kind of a notion could be constructed of workers, employees, employers and entrepreneurs in the textbooks. The study is constructed to make visible underlying discourses in the working life that are presented in social studies textbooks, so that teachers are able to adequately discuss the topic of different roles inworking life. Methods.The study includes six (6) social studies textbooks written in Swedish from Finland. For grades 4 –6 it consisted of two publishers and two publishers for grades 7 –9.In grades 4 –6 there was two textbooks per publisher. The method was a combination of a quantitative survey and a critical discourse analysis.The quantitative survey portrayed which occupations occur in the textbooks.The critical discourse analysis examined how employees, workers, employers and entrepreneurs areconstructed in social studies textbooks. Results. Altogether there are 131 occupations in the data. In the social studies textbooks for grades 4 –6 the prevalent occupations represented there, where occupations students this age could recognize form their everyday lives. In grades 7–9 the occupationswhere much broader, comparing to grades 4 –6, were there was an emphasis on occupations in the judiciary and executive fields. Otherwise,both in grades 4 –6 and 7 –9 the entrepreneur was present in the data. The employer-discourse represented the employer as actor in working life that had to be restrained and had many obligations. The employer was often represented as an impersonal and occasionally also as discriminating. The worker, employee and the employer are very intertwined. The worker-discourse described the workers vast range of action in working life, through instructions and facts for the reader. The worker-discourse was also very prevalent with rights and obligations. The employee-discourse many times portrayed employees only as measurement entity to describe another phenomenon, like businesses. The employees are also described through the working life norms, but also trough rights and obligations. The entrepreneur-discourse described the entrepreneur with many nuances, where positive and negative aspects are shown. A lot of space was given to instructions and facts regarding being an entrepreneur. The conclusion is that the employers are presented as impersonal and in a somewhat negative light, whereworkers and employees are prepared for theworking life trough norms and rights. The entrepreneurs are presented as value-charged and contain vastdescriptions of the life of an entrepreneur.