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2019 | 7 | 1 | 85-107

Article title

They appear missing – An examination of the apparition of language, discourse and agency in a Finnish landscape of education



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This article examines the visual apparition of language, discourse and agency in a school unit in Southwest Finland. It addresses the disciplinary functions of schools as landscapes and the discourses materialized in them. The purpose of this article is to render visible the discourses, the systematic practices that form the objects of which we speak that are manifested in the landscape. The results indicate high levels of linguistic homogeneity, marked by high use of Finnish and English text. This is in clear contrast with a linguistically heterogeneous study body, marked by the apparent, albeit marginal visual presence of other languages not taught in the school as parts of its curricula. It is evident that the official discourses of language and education are manifested in the landscape. These materialized discourses function to instill desired national and linguistic identities and proprieties on students while landscape operates to effectuate indifference towards these processes. This is further apparent in the behavior of the students who are passive in comparison to the teachers and the school staff and typically express themselves textually either in Finnish or English. The students are not explicitly prohibited from freely expressing themselves, yet their participation in the landscape decreases and homogenizes as they progress through the school system.








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  • University of Turku, Turku, Finland


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