Skolfilmslandet Sverige : En historisk undersökning av argumentationen för skol- och bildningsfilm på 1920-talet
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AbstractThe focus of this thesis is to analyze the monthly magazine Tidskrift för svensk skolfilm och bildningsfilm (magazine for Swedish Educational Movies and Learning Movies) in the startup years of the magazine from 1924-1926. I use three theoretical concepts from sociology professor Tomas Gieryn called epistemic authority, credibility contest and the larger sum of the two - boundary work - to examine how the magazine argues for educational movies. My line of questioning is firstly: How does the magazine argue for and describe educational movies, and secondly: How does the magazine argue to be a part of the advancement of society? In my historically interpretation of the source material I find six themes. The first is movies seen as the foremost form of visually pedagogy (åskådningspedagogik), which was a highly rated educational phenomenon in the early 20th century. In short, the magazine argues that no other educational material such as books or oral learning affected the students as much as movies. Therefore, the school should use educational (nonfiction) movies on a broader scale. The second theme is that movies make the school subjects more interested, and therefore the students will be more motivated to learn. The third theme of arguing I have found in the magazine is that movies can be used as a historical time capsule for later generations. These three themes are especially aiming to answer my first question in the thesis. The other three highlights my second question. As the fourth theme I see Gustaf Berg, the publisher and headman of the magazine, and the magazine itself as pioneers for the mission of greater use of educational movies. In addition, the magazine also argues that the biggest Swedish movie company Svensk Filmindustri (SF), should be seen as an ally to the cause of spreading the educational movies. The fifth theme I have found is that a group Bildningsfilmens vänner (The Friends of Educational Movies) appear frequently in the magazine. They act both as writers and audience and are described in the magazine with utmost positive metaphors. I see the group as a created and imagined society that help the cause gaining credibility. The last theme is that the magazine describes itself and its writers as international versed, which is used to further improve the image and credibility of the magazine and the boundary work it does. My conclusion is that all six themes show that the magazine use itself and its headman Berg as a rhetorical platform to argue from, to gain higher credibility for educational movies.