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Laughing Knives : Satire in the English Classroom


Academic year: 2021

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Örebro University

Department of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences English

Laughing Knives


Satire in the English Classroom

Author: Niclas Forsberg Degree Project Essay

Term 8 Supervisor: Dr. Mattias Jacobsson



The aim of this study is to promote the use of satirical content in the English classroom. This study provides an analysis of three interviews with English teachers in the upper secondary school. The analysis compares earlier research with the findings from the

interviews. Interview answers show through real experiences that satirical content may help students become more engaged, not only in learning English but in other social and cultural issues as well. Teachers will have to fight their insecurities about satire in order to use satirical content to its fullest potential. However, it is concluded that satire has a great potential in the English language classroom because of the number of advantages it can provide.


Table of Contents

Introduction ... 1

Method ... 3

Background ... 8

The Concept of Satire ... 8

Analysis and Discussion ... 15

Conclusion ... 22

References ... 25



“Fools are my theme, let satire be my song” – George “Lord Byron” Gordon Byron (Your

Dictionary, 2000).

Satire can be very controversial and sometimes frowned upon and has the ability to provoke laughs as well as hatred. It is not unusual to hear of satire being offensive to certain groups or cultures, as well as different religions (James Sutherland 1967, p. 6). Such is the nature of satire – to provoke – and because of that there might be a desire to remove satire from whatever platform, media or location it occupies. This might be seen as a heroic act to some, removing the unjust opinion from the streets in order to live in a non-provocative society. However, such actions would most likely be frowned upon by our past historians and writers. George Santayana once said: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” (Brainy Quote, 2001).

It is within the very nature of silencing different voices and opinions that we find ourselves violating our own human rights, specifically, freedom of expression, which is regulated in some way in every country but is still part of the foundation that is democracy. Even if something is viewed by some as offensive, this is likely to be subjective and attract different and opposing opinions. It is through our upbringing, cultural background and society that we develop our own subjective views of the world.

Knowledge increases an individual’s opportunity to participate in the increasingly

multicultural global society. The introduction of the subject plan of English (Subject plan, GY11 2011, p. 1) suggests in its introduction that knowledge can provide insight into different cultures, political standings and perspectives, reiterating the classic quote from Francis Bacon:

“Knowledge is power” (Monticello, Home of Thomas Jefferson, 1998). It is the school’s

responsibility to transfer this knowledge to the students to empower and enable them to live and succeed in a globalised society.

According to the curriculum (GY11 2011, p. 6), all subjects have a shared responsibility to provide students with ethical perspectives in order to build a foundation for them to develop their own personal views. Satire, with its sometime controversial views, offers a great deal of insight


into different states, structures and views. However, because of its provocative nature, satire has been banned in certain non-democratic societies (Lynn Davies 2009, p. 196). So it comes as no surprise that satirical content might be able to provide variations of many ethical perspectives.

History records many injustices made in the name of religion and ideology, the extermination of Jews during World War II being a prime example. This tragedy can be connected to what Voltaire once said: “Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices” (Izquotes, 2015). In order to avoid such “absurdities”, one of the overall goals of GY 11 (2011, p. 10) is to address the importance of students learning to think consciously about human rights, the fundamental democratic values, and their own personal experiences.

Students are to develop the ability to reflect on living conditions, social issues and cultural features (Subject plan, GY11 2011, p. 2). They are also to develop strategies that enables them to search for relevant information in larger amount of text or longer sequences of spoken language in order to understand different perspectives and implied meaning (p. 7). The use of satirical content could be one way of helping students to learn this ability. Satire exists in many different forms spread throughout the world. It is not unusual to find satirical content from different nations suitable for a global audience. This makes satirical content easier to find for the English classroom. It opens up the possibility of taking satire from different parts of the world and applying it to the classroom.

In this essay, I will analyse interviews from three teachers and present my findings of what teachers think and feel about satire, as well as its use in the English language classroom. This is done in order to make a case for the use of satirical content in the English classroom or, in other words, argue that teachers should use satirical content in the English language classroom, not only because satirical material in itself provides great content for the English classroom but also because of the potential impact it offers students both at the time of learning and also into their futures.



There are many different approaches when it comes to qualitative research. For this study, interviews were seen as the most effective and appropriate method. Not only is the interview a widely employed method within qualitative research, it is also very flexible and can offer a great deal of data (Bryman 2012, p. 469). The semi-structured form of a qualitative interview became a natural choice for this paper since this type of interview is most likely to offer insight into how the research participants view the world (Bryman 2012, p. 471). The nature of this interviewing style will allow for questions outside the question guide and result in more in-depth data

(Bryman 2012, p. 471). This style was therefore chosen as an effective way of gaining in-depth and specific data for the study.

Despite the method’s many advantages, one major disadvantage is that it is very time consuming (Bryman 2012, p. 469), requiring time to find suitable and willing interviewees, conduct interviews, transcribe interviews and, lastly, analyse these transcripts. Additionally, it should be recognised that although the method provides the opportunity to generate large

amounts of data, it is not always the case that the data generated will prove useful to the research. As a consequence, this can potentially add to the time spent working on the conducted

interviews, delaying the study.

In order to conduct a semi-structured interview, an interview guide is needed. An interview guide consists of base questions that are prepared before the interview is conducted. These questions are focused and shaped around answering the main research question (Bryman 2012, p. 473). When creating a guide for the interview, it is necessary to have questions that are well formulated, questions about general information (age, gender, number of years employed, etc.), and lastly, questions that have flow between them that could be altered if necessary (Bryman 2012, p. 473). The questions used in this study, as well as the motivations behind them, can be found in Table 1.


Table 1

Question; Motivations

What is your name? This question belongs to the general information questions and also serves as a warm up question. However, this question will not be presented in this essay, since the interviewees are to be anonymous.

How old are you? This question belongs to the general information

questions, its purpose being to determine the age of the interviewee and acts as a warm up question. The data collected from this question can be of importance in this study.

Could you describe your career as teacher?

This is the last of the general questions and also serves as a warm up question. Although general, the data collected on this question can be of high importance in this case.

How are you feeling today? This question serves solely as a warm up question and will probably have no impact on this study.

What is your thought about satire?

The nature of the question is to get the interviewee’s own subjective view of satire. This question might make the interviewee reflect upon his/her relation to satire and/or how he/she values satire. This question is a direct

question, the purpose of which is to direct the interview

in a certain way (Bryman 2012, p. 478), and could produce vital data to the study.

What is your definition of satire?

This question is a probing question designed to verify what has been said through direct questioning (Bryman 2012, p. 478). This question serves two purposes: to make the interviewee give their own definition of satire, which could help them formulate answers in the later stages of the interview; and to determine whether they have grasped the concept of satire.

How do you look upon satire as a tool to help reach the

knowledge requirements in the English subject?

This question could be seen as both a direct and a

probing question. It has a different purpose than the


to determine how the interviewee connects the use of satire to the curriculum/English subject.

What can be the issues with using satire in the classroom?

The question is designed to make the interviewee reflect on the negative sides of satire, a kind of probing

question. It is important to collect both positive and

negative views. The collection of this data will help show how the flaws of satire could later be counteracted and used to help the study.

What is your best experience of using satire in the classroom? For example, an experience that made you think, “This was a success!”

Bryman (2012, p. 479) recommends that every interview should contain requests for encounters or anecdotes or even certain emotions. This purpose of this question is to find positive examples of satire currently being used in the English classroom. Positive outcomes in examples when using different methods may provide good evidence for the study.

What is your worst experience of using satire in the classroom? For example, an experience that made you think, “This didn’t go as expected.”

This question is designed as a follow-up question (Bryman 2012, p. 478) to the previous one containing similar elements. It will also help the research by collecting data that may later be counteracted. This is done primarily to achieve a form of critical realism (Bryman 2012, p. 616).

How do you think satire should be used in the in the English classroom? What is important to keep in mind?

When conducting interviews, the interviewer should attempt to catch every aspect of the research question from the interviewee. The purpose of this question is to find out how the teachers themselves think satire should be used ideally. This question will also deal with what the teachers think is important to keep in mind when using satire in an English classroom environment.

What about satire and degrading treatment? Could satire be degrading/offensive towards your own students?

This question is a direct question designed to make the interviewee reflect on their own use of satire and how it could be seen as degrading/offensive to some of his/her students. This sort of question might reveal how teachers approach degrading/offensive material differently.

Is it wrong to use satire that criticises a religion if one of

This question is both a direct question and a follow-up

question designed to make the interviewee reflect about


your students happens to belong to that specific religion?

question might reveal how teachers approach material differently depending on how religious students might respond towards it. This question will hopefully find the correlation between degrading treatment and religion and how they might be combined/split.

Why do you think other

teachers choose not to use satire in the classroom?

The last question in the question guide is a direct

question with the purpose of finding out the

interviewee’s own subjective view of how they perceive other teachers and their choices. This question could produce very interesting data for the study.

One significance of using a semi-structured interview is that additional questions to those in the question guide may be included. These additional questions are created during the interaction between the interviewee and the interviewer. The type of questions generated outside the

question guide are likely to be follow-up questions or short responses to what the interviewee has said. The interviewer must be attuned and responsive to what the interviewee is saying and doing and pay attention to body language and tone of voice (Bryman 2012, p. 479).

When conducting research of this kind, purposive sampling is advantageous. This is because it is important to find the most attractive and precise data as possible for the study. Purposive sampling is a strategic way of sampling participants that are most relevant to the study (Bryman 2012, p. 418). The first step to purposive sampling is to have a clear criteria relevant to the researcher’s question/s (Bryman 2012, p. 418). The aim of this study is to make a case for the use of satire in the upper secondary English classroom, thus the most logical criterion would be

teachers who teach English in upper secondary school. After establishing the first criterion, the

pool of purposive sampling is relatively large and could provide bad sampling because of its lack of specified sampling. In order to avoid sampling that might provide irrelevant or low quality data, it becomes logical to add another criterion to the first one. The second criterion was created with the intention of supporting this study, teachers that teach using satirical content. The second criterion, however, is dependent on the first one, so a model of criteria is in order:


This model will help to identify teachers that fit the criteria. The first criterion could be matched within every upper secondary school in Sweden. The second criterion proved rarer; only three teachers who use satirical content were found. When conducting field studies, there might be limits to resources including time. In this project, time and other resources were limited.

The schools were located in one of the major cities in Sweden. The samples all come from different schools, which can provide a positive variety between the samples (Bryman 2012, p. 418). In this case, the schools were contacted by the researcher who visited the schools in person. This was done for two reasons, the limited time, and the fact that once the researcher found English teachers, the English teachers would have to pass the purposive sampling. To speed up this process, visiting the schools became the most logical approach. Talking to all English teachers present at the schools allowed the researcher to verify whether or not the English teachers are using satirical content. Doing this by phone or email may have delayed the research since teachers often have classes and other situations that might prevent their availability to attend phone calls. They could also dodge, overlook or forget the email or calls. This would then require the researcher to call a school multiple times in order to reach a single teacher. The second reason is that it has been shown that asking in person increases success of attaining teachers’ time and getting them to participate in an interview.

The interviews were conducted and recorded at the three different schools on a set date and time. The date and time was decided a few days before the interviews were done so that the teachers could prepare if needed. This meant that the researcher had to visit the schools again after finding candidates. Prior to the interviews, the teachers were informed that that they would remain anonymous throughout the process and that they would receive copies of the completed interview transcripts to enable them to confirm that these transcripts properly represented their responses. The time it took to conduct the interviews varied between 12 to 28 minutes. The interviews were conducted in Swedish, meaning that the researcher would have to translate parts of the interview into English.



This section will provide a much needed background for this study. The background is split into two sub-sections: The Concept of Satire and Satire in Pedagogy and Education. The first section will discuss satire and its role in a democratic society. The second section will discuss the role of satire in education/pedagogy. The background contains material from various sources.

The Concept of Satire

Satire can come in many forms, including illustrations, comics, plays, movies and novels. It is a very broad category and a wide range of content might fall under the category of satire.

According to the Oxford Dictionary, satire in its noun form means:

“The use of humour, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues” (Oxford Dictionaries, 2016).

Satire is therefore hard to pinpoint since its definition is very broad, which also makes it possible that the definition of satire can be very subjective. There appears to be a fine line between satire as something which is hurtful and satire as something comical, although it may be viewed as both. The Chinese symbol for satire symbolises this, being composed of the symbols “laughing” and “knives” (Tese Wintz, Capri Karaca, Kate Lang 2003, p. 8). Although satire might be harmless it can also harbour a great deal of destruction, as Sutherland (1956) asserts in the opening page of his book:

“The satirist is destructive; he destroys what is already there (and what to many people appears to be functioning quite satisfactorily), and he does not necessarily offer to fill the vacuum that he has created. He is […] ‘a demolition expert’” (p. 1).

An event which reinforces Sutherland’s negative view of satire as “destructive” occurred on September 30, 2005. The Danish newspaper, Jyllands-posten, published a selection of cartoons featuring the Prophet Muhammad (Jytte Klausen 2009). These cartoons provoked several

Muslim countries to boycott Danish goods. The fallout forced Danish diplomats and aid workers in Muslim countries to withdraw because their safety was in jeopardy (p. 1). In this case,


(Klausen 2009). The author, Jytte Klausen, was banned from using these pictures, as well as others, in her book. Below is part of the publisher’s statement:

“After careful consideration, Yale University Press has declined to reprint in this book the cartoons that were published in the September 30, 2005 edition of Jyllands-Posten, as well as the other depictions of the Prophet Muhammad that the author proposed to include”

(Publisher’s Statement, The Cartoons That shook the World, 2009).

It is understandable that the publisher would want to prevent further tragedy. Robert Hariman (2008) says this about taking humour seriously: “To take humor seriously, one has to be prepared to step outside the norms of deliberation, civility and good taste” (p. 1). Even though some subjects are undeniably sensitive to some people, most would agree that violence cannot be justified on the grounds of those subjects being mocked or questioned. Satire has the ability to expose the limits of public speech (Hariman 2008, p. 1). In Hariman’s article he states that: “Parody and related forms of political humor are essential resources for sustaining democratic public culture” (p. 1). This sort of conflict can be seen in history, for example in Voltaire’s assertion that “It is dangerous to be right in matters where established men are wrong” (Goodreads, 2007).

Satire has the ability to directly criticise what is happening in the world through jokes and exaggeration, and it also has the ability to be ridiculously absurd about serious topics (Ashley N. Shelton, 2014). It is effective as a method of criticism as it highlights different views from different perspectives, gives insight to different situations from other angles, and can be achieved by the use of a few short words or even simply an image; that being said, satire can take many different forms and it is often just the essence of satire that indicates its presence. Sutherland (1956, p. 5) describes the art of the satirist as the art of persuasion, which is also the chief

function of rhetoric. Rhetoric is the art of using language so as to persuade or influence others (p. 5). It is indeed the satirist’s goal to persuade others toward their own thinking, creating

opportunities through their comedy.

It is important to remember that satire is not just a way to spread different perspectives or a way to tell a good joke; there is more to it than that. Satire can be viewed as having great value. It is expressiveness, it is liberation, and it has the ability to defy the chains of political, societal, religious and cultural oppressors. “Attempts to curtail or censure the work of cartoonists are


indicative of press freedoms and limits of free expression and health of democracy” (Daniel Hammett, Charles Mather, 2011 p. 2). Free expressiveness is tied to democracy whether we like it or not, and if we are to uphold these values, free expressiveness must exist without

consequence. Randal Marlin (2013) states in his book:

“Democracy will not work, will not be true to its essential ideal, if a group of people in power are able to manipulate the electorate by withholding some information and stifling criticism by charges of sedition, violation of state secrecy requirements, or threats of libel, etc.” (p. 239).

If we are to uphold the essential ideas and ideology of democracy, we should do so without straying away from its fundaments. It is the student’s right to learn about fundamental democratic values regardless of the subject they are learning. The curriculum (GY11, 2011) states the following:

“The national school system is based on democratic value. […] Education should impart and establish respect for human rights and the fundamental democratic values on which Swedish society is based” (p. 4).

If we compare “the fundamental democratic values” with staying true to the essential ideals of democracy stated by Marlin we can see the same value being expressed, although worded differently. If teachers do not teach their students to respect the democratic values, they have failed as teachers, no matter the subject. To teach students the fundamental values of democracy is to teach them freedom of expression. Marlin argues that freedom of expression should exist without consequence and that is something teachers need to take into consideration.


Satire in pedagogy and education

So far, this essay has attempted to promote the importance of satire in the democratic society as well as the ethical/moral issues that might revolve around it. The obligations of the teacher have also been touched on, and this section will explore that in more depth, moving on to the usefulness of satire and how it can be applied and used in the English classroom. As previously stated, satire comes in many forms and has many different appeals to right and wrong (the ethical). Depending on what format of satire is used, there seems to be different approaches as to how to use it in an English classroom environment.

The classic format of satire is the use of political cartoons, parodic illustrations, ironic images, and exaggerated concepts, portraying a range of different themes such as cultural, political, and religious, indeed anything that revolves around the social environment, whether it be in Sweden or elsewhere. Shelton (2014) argues that satire in the English classroom makes for a more entertaining and challenging way of learning English. Many teachers work hard to encourage their students to feel motivated towards their subject. In the curriculum for upper secondary school (GY11 2011) we can read the following:

“Teachers should: […]

• reinforce each student’s self-confidence, as well as their willingness and ability to learn”

(p. 9).

It is part of the teacher’s obligation to try and reinforce their students’ motivation through various methods and techniques. Havva Yaman (2010) claims that using visual elements in language education enhances the students’ success as well as keeping them motivated (p. 1236). Although Yaman’s study is focused on learning Turkish, it should still be considered relevant since visual elements are not only bound to learning the Turkish language and should still be seen as effective when learning any language. Hammett & Mather (2011) also state in their article that the use of carefully selected political cartoons emphasises how cartoons can be used in lectures to facilitate debates, to develop critical thinking skills, to expose oversimplifications, to outline differing explanations of events, and to help highlight double-standards (p. 105).

Since students are to develop source-critical strategies (Subject plan, GY 11, 2011, p. 7), satire in the form of cartoons has good potential to create opportunities in reaching these goals.


Today, adolescents are living media-saturated lives, spending almost six to seven hours a day on average (Shelton 2014, p. 7) engaging with media. It is likely, therefore, that today’s students are already highly exposed to satire, propaganda and other types of influential material through the means of social media. Examples of social media include: YouTube, Imgur, mtvU,

Facebook, and various online newspapers (Ronald A. Berk 2009). If students do not possess skills that allow them to be source-critical towards certain material, they could end up harbouring values that stray from both the curriculum and the subject plan. This in turn makes satire even more important as a tool in the English classroom as it allows students to deal with images in the satiric category. Hammett & Mather (2011) believe that political cartoons encourage deep approaches to learning and allow the potential to develop a range of skills and understanding (p. 117).

Satire can also be found in video clips, in the form of a song, a public speech, or even a play. Through the use of video clips, these satirical moments can be re-played and paused over and over. This enables video clips to serve as a great tool in the teaching environment. The subject plan for English states that:

“Teaching should make use of the surrounding world as a resource for contacts, information and learning, and help students develop an understanding of how to search for, evaluate, select and assimilate content from multiple sources of information, knowledge and experiences” (p. 1).

This part highlights the teachers’ obligation to collect knowledge and experience from the surrounding world from not one but multiple sources. Hammett & Mather (2011) argue that satire can spark discussions about democracy, power, equality and the contradiction of these (p. 106). In this case, satire can represent one of the “multiple sources” for evaluation when

understanding different cultures, politics and societies. According to Berk (2009) the use of video clips when teaching could provide 20 potential outcomes. Table 2 shows a list of the potential outcomes (Berk 2009, p. 2).


Table 2

1. Grab students’ attention; 2. Focus Students’ concentration; 3. Generate interest in class; 4. Create a sense of anticipation;

5. Energise or relax students for learning exercise;

6. Draw on students’ imagination; 7. Improve attitudes toward content and


8. Build a connection with other students and instructor;

9. Increase memory of content; 10. Increase understanding;

11. Foster creativity;

12. Stimulate the flow of ideas; 13. Foster deeper learning;

14. Provide an opportunity for freedom of expression;

15. Serve as a vehicle for collaboration; 16. Inspire and motivate students; 17. Make learning fun;

18. Set an appropriate mood or tone; 19. Decrease anxiety and tension on scary


20. Create memorable visual images.

If these outcomes are all possible through the use of video clips in general, then it should be possible to conclude that these outcomes would equally apply to video clips including satirical content. Finding video clips with satirical content today is easier than ever using the help of YouTube or other video content websites. This makes it easy for teachers to find a variety of material to suit their needs. On YouTube, for example, there is a dominating amount of English content from all around the world, including content from English speaking countries. In fact, the English language was shown to be the most widely used language on the internet in 2015, with a total of 872.9 million users (Internet World Stats, 2000). This makes YouTube a great resource when trying find material from the “surrounding world”.

Satire has the potential to force individuals to examine their values and conduct, which Al Muller (1973, p. 21) claims is needed in times filled with extreme affectation and pompous specialisations. Muller, however, also believes it is important to keep the adolescents’ feelings in mind when using satire in the English classroom (p. 23). It should be recognised that material might be sensitive to some students. The nature of humour is defined by differences in

upbringing, societal values, ethnic groups and peer groups amongst others; thus humour will always be subjective, even within a single societal group such as the classroom. In a


views as to what should be satirised. This may appear to be a disadvantage but in reality it is not. Muller (1973) provides two options that work if students were to like or dislike the chosen satire:

• “[B]y asking the students to figure out why they found a selection to be funny, the teacher is asking the students to realize that the behaviours satirized deviate from the accepted standards of conduct. Such a conclusion leads to attempting to understand why the satire was written” (p. 23-24)

• “If the students should not find a selection funny […] the teacher can ask questions which attempt to have the students investigate why they did not find the material funny; such questions can lead to the realization that the students did not know the standard against which the satirized behavior was measured or that the satire dealt with a topic which the students were not familiar. Either conclusion can lead to an understanding of the nature of satire” (p. 24)

Therefore, problematic satire in a multicultural English classroom can be used to further understand the nature of the satire. If the satirical content were to offend a specific student, using Muller’s suggestion would help other students understand why their classmate might take

offence to such content. It would help other students to understand cultural differences through the simple use of analysing satirical and sometimes offending content. Although Muller provided these two options 43 years ago they should still be seen as relevant. The methods are, in a sense, timeless and could very well fit into a classroom scenario in our modern time and be relevant to both the curriculum and subject plan.


Analysis and Discussion

This section presents findings from the interviews and discusses them in relation to the background provided earlier. The teachers in this section are referred to as teacher A, B and C. The interviews in their original language can be found in Appendix I.

Different careers and ages

Teacher A is 41 years old and has been working as an English teacher for 9 years. Teacher B is 49 years old and has been working for 7 years. Teacher C has been working for 17 years and is 49 years old. This means that teacher C has worked as an English teacher for almost twice as long as the other two teachers. Even though these questions served as warm up questions, it is important to know how long teachers A, B and C have been working. Their age might be relevant to their experience as well. This is because teachers, according to the school law, are to base their teaching on beprövad erfarenhet ‘established experience’ (SFS 2010:800). In terms of experience, teacher C could produce the most informative answers. This, however, does not always need to be true.

Teachers’ thoughts about satire

Teacher A believes that satire is a good tool to have when teaching because of its ability to show different points of view. Teacher B believes that satire is important and says, “It is important to be able to laugh at serious things because it creates opportunities for discussion. I believe it is important to be able to discuss serious matters”. Teacher C says, “I like to joke around! […] I like fun, so satire is damn good […] most teenagers in these ages are more or less capable of understanding satire and ambiguity.” Teacher C continues by implying that comedy is part of his character as a teacher, as a pedagogical approach.

Teacher C’s response agrees with Shelton (2014) who talks about making the English classroom entertaining and more motivating through the use of satirical content. Teacher C also puts a lot of faith in his students, claiming that they are capable of understanding ambiguity and satire. Considering teacher C’s 17 years of experience and that he feels students are capable of understanding, it can be understood that from his perspective young adults are capable of both understanding and handling satirical content. Teachers A and B refer to satire as something to be used to present points of view, perhaps of sensitive subjects that they feel should be approached


for teachers to talk about ethical perspectives and is related to the statement “different subjects should cover these [ethical] perspectives” in the curriculum (GY11 2011, p. 6).

The teachers’ own definitions of satire

Teacher A describes satire as being connected to irony and a comical way of illuminating complex questions. Teacher B describes satire as a way to “see events from another perspective, maybe… a comical perspective, critical/comical maybe.” Teacher C believes that satire is a point of view that, whether true or seen from another angle, illustrates something in order to

demonstrate or ridicule, for example, a political structure or norm.

Teacher C also feels that satire leans towards sarcasm more than irony. This is an interesting point as the Oxford Dictionary definition given earlier within the background section of this essay did not mention sarcasm. The differences between sarcasm and irony can be demonstrated using the following comparison: “As with sarcasm, ironic remarks convey the opposite of their literal meaning, but more subtly and with an effect of wry amusement rather than blatant mockery” (Oxford Dictionaries, 2016). Teacher C was referring to satire having a more

provocative nature. The teachers’ responses to this question all relate to what Hammett & Mather (2011) claim: that satire facilitates debates and critical thinking, and exposes oversimplifications.

How the teachers think of satire as a tool to help reach the knowledge requirements in the English curriculum

Although teacher A believes satire can be used, he is still somewhat critical of it and feels it should be used “not as a first choice, but more like a resource among many. You cannot use satire as a base in education, then you have to use satire all the time. Education needs to be scientific and established experience”. However, he later concedes that satirical content may be helpful in illuminating certain questions. Teacher B has very little to say about this question and simply states that he “believe[s] it is good as a way of preparing and evoking emotional thoughts and prepare for discussions”.

Teacher C says that anything that helps him “to get a point across” might be worth using. He also believes that the absolute best way is if a teaching experience is both fun and informative, believing that “this is where satire can achieve both”.


Teacher A’s response to this question reflects the Swedish school law (SFS 2010:800) that education needs to be based on science and established experience. While teacher A might think satire can be used as a way to reach the goals of the subject plan, he shows a fear of overusing it. This is likely due this teacher’s view that satire is not objective or scientific. However, it should be noted that, in general, movies, novels, poetry and other sources of lesson content are rarely objective and/or scientific. Teacher A might, therefore, be constricting his options when choosing content for his classroom. Teacher A also highlights that satire is an excellent tool to illuminate issues and puts a lot of trust in its ability to give insight into ethical issues. Teacher B points to the potential value satirical content has in preparing and introducing difficult topics on things like culture, values, and traditions. Both GY 11 (2011) and the subject plan within GY 11 mention that the English classroom should provide such content. All three teachers are positive towards satire and its possible use in the English classroom. Teacher A, however, highlights that it is not wise to base education entirely on satire.

What teachers believe is problematic with using satire in the classroom

Teacher A explains her view that satire is not objective and that the outcome of using satire can become complicated. Teacher B believes that satire could make students upset and force them into reflecting on their own private lives. She continues, “[Y]ou could step on toes, if you don’t do it properly and do it with an openness.”

Teacher B feels that there is no need for consensus, even if you live in Sweden that has a narrow “echo chamber” and she further highlights that it is okay to think differently. She ends her statement by saying that “everything should be open for discussion’. Teachers B and C both feel that satire will always carry the risk of stepping on someone’s toes, whether it criticises politics, religion, culture or even musical taste. Whilst teacher A is using different terminology to B and C, he is actually probing further into the same point, asking why and how satire could be considered as toe stepping, and questioning satire’s constant tendency to be subjective.

Teacher B’s assertion that Sweden has a narrow “åsiktskorridor” is an interesting point. The closest translation of this word is “echo chamber”, as in the following Wikipedia entry:

“In media, an echo chamber is a situation in which information, ideas, or beliefs are amplified or reinforced by transmission and repetition inside an ‘enclosed’ system, where


different or competing views are censored, disallowed, or otherwise underrepresented” (Wikipedia, 2003).

Teacher B implies that in Sweden there is a very narrow minded political climate and having the wrong opinion can be an issue to some. Her belief that this is wrong can be seen in her assertion that everything should be able to be discussed and that having a different opinion is okay. The definition of echo chamber goes against what the curriculum in GY11 (2011) stands for. GY11 states that “The school should be open to different ideas and encourage their

expression” (p. 4) and that “Xenophobia and intolerance must be confronted with knowledge, open discussion and active measures” (p. 4). Tolerance and openness are part of the core values that teachers should convey and teacher B’s beliefs reflect this.

Teacher C also makes an important point, implying that satire could even offend someone’s musical taste. Satire does not show mercy to any subject; this should be seen as a positive, in the same way that teacher B mentioned that anything should be able to be up for discussion and that it is healthy to be able to express different opinions. Starting discussions enables us to understand each side and fight injustices; this in turn helps to keep a democratic state healthy (Hammett & Mather, 2011).

The teachers’ best experiences of using satire in the classroom

Teacher A talks about how he usually uses satirical images as a way of introducing and perpetuating complex discussions. Teacher B thinks that using a movie including satirical content is a great help in encouraging discussions. Teacher C likes to use video clips taken from YouTube. He describes using a specific comedy video and relates that “It created really good discussions in the classroom: whether it was okay or not, and whether what he [the comedian] says should be seen as truth or opinion”. After showing the clip, he would analyse together with the class the comedian’s choice of words, dialect, use of slang and use of academic words and whether the audience were laughing with him or at him.

All the teachers seem to agree that satire is a good discussion starter and put a lot of faith in its ability to create those opportunities. This goes in hand with what Hammett & Mather (2011) say about satire being able to spark discussions. While teacher A uses images, both teachers B


use of YouTube videos was suggested by Berk (2009) as being a great tool in the English language classroom. Teacher C, who has the most experience in teaching, demonstrates his experience by using one of the most potent ways of teaching with the use of video clips; he utilises social media and modern technology fully by pausing and discussing the material used. Using YouTube clips in this way could easily fulfil the potential outcomes found in Table 2.

Teachers’ worst experiences of using satire in the classroom

Teacher A did not answer this question since it was missed during the interview. Teacher B describes an incident when she thought that the material she had picked was satirical enough to provoke a discussion, however, it turned out that the students did not react at all in the way she had planned. She describes it as too “obvious” for her students and she feels her students

considered it passé. Teacher C spoke about providing a satirical video clip from YouTube that he had thought would provoke a specific topic, but it did not; the stand-up comedian had made a joke in the video which was seen as offensive. Teacher C had not foreseen that someone would pick up on this and he himself had not reflected upon this. However, teacher C does have a positive view of the event, saying that “it turned into a great discussion about sexism instead”; even though the class veered from the original topic and the situation seemed negative in the beginning, it still led to a discussion regarding values and norms in society.

It would seem that both teachers picked material provocative enough for the students to react and get a real ethical discussion going on. In Teacher C’s case this was not deliberate; however, luckily, students caught on to an overlooked ethical issue which sparked a conversation that led to a more positive outcome.

How teachers think satire should be used in the in the English classroom and what is important to keep in mind

Teacher A thinks that satire should be used when necessary but not too often and making sure satire is not overused. Teacher B believes it is important to not go too far too suddenly with satire because it could easily hurt students’ feelings. It is important to respect that some students might get upset and that they have a right to say that they do not approve of things and that such things should be discussed. Teacher C says: “You have to carefully select [satire] for it to have some kind of pedagogical and didactic effect without people feeling as if their big toes were


stepped on afterwards”. Teacher C continues by saying that satire should not be used with students that are new to the teacher. This is because he believes it is important to first find some kind of ‘common atmosphere’ to get a feel of how students may and may not react; achieving this, he says, could take some time.

The theme between teachers seems that there is a need for carefulness. This links to Hammett & Mather’s (2011) assertion that satire needs to be carefully selected. The reason for this can be seen as to not unnecessarily hurt students’ feelings unless it has a pedagogical and didactical purpose.

Teachers’ thoughts about satire connected to degrading treatment and their own students

Teacher A believes that blatant satirical content can be offensive, and if this were to be the intention then the satire needs to be objective in some ways. To achieve this, and to avoid certain groups being portrayed in a negative manner, he believes it is important to introduce further satire that displays an opposing view in order to achieve some sort of balance. Teacher B says that there will always be someone that will feel offended by any satirical content. If that were to happen, then it is up to the teacher to tell the students that it is okay to have those feelings. Teacher C believes that no teacher would have the intention of using satire to degrade their own students. He believes that satire is used as a tool for highlighting conversation topics rather than degrading someone. But in the process of this, students might end up hurt. He does not state whether or not he feels that this is acceptable.

Teacher A mentions something new and very interesting. In order to achieve some sort of balance, teachers who use satire need to present multiple critiques. This is done, for example, by presenting satirical content that affects multiple religions and not just one.

The teachers’ thoughts of the use of satire criticising a religion that a student might happen to belong to

Teacher A believes that satire should not be censored even if his own students might be offended by the satire being used. However, he dislikes satire that only provokes since he


mollycoddled, instead she believes students should be prepared for real life and that includes having his or her own values and beliefs questioned. In a follow-up question regarding trigger warnings, she states: “I do not believe it is healthy for democracy if we protect our students from that [different opinions].”

In a further follow-up question regarding what satire has done for society in a historical perspective, teacher B stated a belief that satire in history has played in the favour of democracy; she refers to how dictatorships very rarely allow the questioning of their regime. Teacher C is conflicted about this question, believing that religion is a very sensitive subject and that the satire used needs to produce more good than bad. In answer to a follow-up question about safe spaces and trigger warnings, he said: “That sounds like a good idea! But who will protect them when I’m not around?”

Teacher B’s statement about dictatorships and their relationship with satire is in line with Lynn Davies (2009) assertion that satire is banned in certain non-democratic nations. Teacher B believes satirists play a vital part in the fight for democracy, which could again be connected to what Marlin (2013) and Hammett & Mather (2011) state about the importance of keeping a healthy democracy. Teacher C mentions something interesting in his thoughts on trigger

warnings; he is considering longer term consequences for his students. He wants his students to be able to handle uncomfortable feelings without needing him to be there, for example within a situation outside school.

Teachers’ thoughts of why other teachers might not use satire in the English classroom

Teacher A believes some teachers feel the need to base their education on science and objectiveness and that satire is seen as the opposite. This would make satire less attractive for other teachers to use. Teacher B believes that many teachers want to avoid difficult

conversations for fear of losing control of the discussion. She also mentions that difficult conversations might spark conflict within the class. Teacher C describes teachers as “control freaks” in a positive manner and that they often have a hard time grasping “the magnitude” of satire. He also describes teachers having a fear of losing this control when using satire in the English classroom, and that this makes teachers use “safe stuff” instead of satire.


Teachers B and C seem to be talking about the same thing. They both feel that control inside a classroom is important and satire has the power to cause a disruption of this “control”.


The aim of this essay was to make a case for satire in the English classroom for the upper secondary school. One statement was addressed:

Why teachers should use satirical content in the English language classroom.

The findings in the current literature indicate that satire has a vital role in sustaining a democratic society. Not only is it able to reach the limits of free public speech, it also has the ability to show where ethical perspectives clash between groups; as a consequence, satire is often controversial. Satire achieves its aims through the use of exaggeration or bluntness. It seems to be that satire has a unique way of highlighting ethical issues that might exist within a society, group or culture. As Sutherland (1956) explains, satire often tries to disrupt what seems normal in order to provoke thought. Satirical content’s main influence is through its humour. This is used in order to attract an audience and as a tool to persuade the audience towards a change of view. Any attempts to censor or remove satire from the public within a state could potentially injure the health of that democracy. This include attempts from social, cultural and religious groups that take offence to the content.

Both the current literature and this study have shown a variety of uses of satire in the English language classroom. Satirical content can be found in a range of forms including literature, visual content, and internet video clips. The use of satirical content in video format appears to be

particularly effective in reaching the outcomes found in Table 2. This, and other, research has shown that satire provides numerous advantages in the English classroom. An interesting finding within this study was the relation between students who like or dislike satirical content. There seems to be the potential for a win/win situation depending on the competence of the teacher. If the teacher is competent enough, he/she should be able to turn a bad situation into a learning experience using Muller’s (1973) approach.


satirical content, in order to motivate his students. This confirms previous opinion that satirical content makes learning more fun and motivating. All teachers questioned see satire as an opener for ethical questions and consciously use it due to this, particularly teacher A. Satirical content in the English language classroom enables teachers and their students to step into ethical issues, discuss them, and together learn from them. The use of satirical content enables students to develop their own personal views in accordance with GY11 (2011). Even though satire is sometimes controversial and subjective, the teachers do not see this as an issue but rather an advantage because of its potential to help students reach the goals of the curriculum and subject plan.

Teacher B also reflects previous research when she talks about the echo chamber and acknowledges that there are ethical issues when discussing culture and religion even in the classroom. The importance of being able to discuss anything is just as important today as it was several hundred years ago. If we are not allowed to have an open dialogue in the biggest meeting place of cultural differences, then where can we have it?

This study shows that satire is a useful tool in teaching aspects of the curriculum and subject plan, thus advocating its use in the English language classroom. The effectiveness of satire largely depends on the teacher being competent enough to handle ethical issues. Only a teacher who has good judgement and is able to achieve a sense of objectiveness in the classroom may utilise satire to its fullest potential. Teacher C’s point that it is important to first establish a connection with the students in order to get a feel for how far satire can be taken is imperative. The use of satire is extremely potent in the English classroom but it also carries a risk; it could completely backfire and the teacher could easily lose control of the situation. Teacher who plan to use satire need to have experience in both dealing with conflict and ethical issues.

In conclusion, teachers who are confident in dealing with conflict and know how far they can push sensitive matters with the use of satire have found in satire a very potent source when teaching English that offers ethical perspectives regarding gender equality, democratic values, and cultural differences, as well as an alternative way of approaching a higher level of language education through the use of literature and different sorts of media.


Whilst working on this research, it became clear that far too little is known or understood about the clash of cultures. When is it necessary to put your foot down as a teacher when faced with views that contrast those of our fundamental democratic values? Culture, religion and social rules have become far too sensitive to discuss because the lack of laws and regulations

surrounding it. In the absence of clear laws and regulation, confusion arises. It appears that, in the Swedish curriculum at least, there exists a paradox where teachers are supposed to teach students respect and tolerance towards cultural or religious differences, yet at the same time they are also to distance themselves from values that conflict with the fundamental values set by the Education Act and the curriculum (GY11 2011, p. 4-5). This is something that can affect many subjects within the upper secondary school, but especially the English subject. The English language has a strong position in the world. So how are today’s teachers supposed to show respect and tolerance towards cultural differences when they are to teach human rights, equality and fundamental democratic values that might be in conflict with those values?



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Teacher A – Interview

Vi kan börja med ålder och namn!

41, ****** *******

Ja trevligt att träffas! Och hur länge har du haft din lärarkarriär?

Öh… jag tog examen 07

Och hur länge är det då?

Nio år!

Och allting är bra med dig idag då?

Ja det är det väll.

Iallafall, satir, vad tycker vi om det?

Öh, det kan vara ett bra verktyg å ha i undervisning för att visa från andra infallsvinklar

mm, öh, ska vi fråga dig lite på definitionen på satir, hur definierar du det då?

mm, det är väll kopplat till ironi och det är ett skämtsamt sätt att belysa komplexa frågor

tror du satir har varit viktigt för samhället

absolut, rätt använt så kan det vara väldigt kraftfullt

Hur ser du på satir som hjälpmedel för att nå kunskapskraven, just i engelska då?

inte i första hand, utan mer som ett hjälpmedel bland många, öh… du kan inte använda satir för att grunda undervisningen, då du ska gå igenom satir hela tiden, utan undervisningen måste vara vetenskapligt och beprövad erfarenhet, där liksom kommer inte satiren in i första hand, det kan man inte säga, däremot så kan du lyfta fram satir för att belysa vissa frågor när det är lämpligt, då kan det absolut användas!

Vad är det då du menar på frågor då? vill belysa komplexitet?

exempelvis om du håller på med nån typ av fråga som har en viss nivå av komplexitet för att tydligt belysa kärnan i den frågan så kan du mycket väl ta fram till exempel en satirisk bild, på det viset tror jag att du kan få med dig fler elever som kanske annars hade haft svårare att sätta


sig in i en komplex fråga, så det kan vara ett sätt att liksom vid en ingång vid ett problem å belysa ett problem, men som jag sa: jag tror inte du kan bygga undervisning hela tiden koppla till satir.

Okej, uhm, vad kan finnas för problem med användandet av satiren i klassrummet?

Det kan finnas i o med att satiren är sällan objektiv, eller det finns juh nånstans i satirens natur så ligger det att du inte är objektiv utan att du förstärker eller att u rent av förfalskar och så vidare va, så det är klart, bygger du din undervisning på satir så blir det fel, det blir juh knepigt va

Så ska vi se här, ska vi gå in på lite upplevelse av satir, uhm, vilken är din bästa upplevelse av satir i klassrummet? då du: Jah! Nu flyter det på bra! Du kanske har använt en bild eller liknande.

Nä men det är bilder som du är inne på! att du upplever att materialet, stoffet du jobbar med är ganska komplext, där, där har jag känt, att man kan, i synnerhet med bild, att du kan ta in en satirisk bild, att det på nått sätt lossnar för en del elever, att du får igång, man märker att du får igång processen i klassrummet på ett bättre sätt och att du får med eleverna.

Hur tycker du att man ska använda satir i klassrummet? och vad är viktigt att tänka på?

Som jag då, du kan använda det som ett moment när det är lämpligt, du kan använda det för att belysa och förtydliga ett problem, det är viktigt att tänka på att satiren är juh, satir är satir, satiren är juh i sin natur inte objektiv, utan satiren förstärker juh och vinklar och så, det är det som är satir. Du måste vara försiktig, du kan juh inte, det kan juh bli fel om du hela tiden överanvänder satiren skulle jag vilja påstå.

Och som vi pratade om innan intervjun här, satir kopplat till kränkande behandling, kan satir vara kränkande för dina elever, alltså när du använder det?

Det är klart det kan vara det, om jag väljer ut, liksom grova satiriska bilder eller texter, det är klart det kan kränka, klart det kan.

Vad tror du det kan ha för påverka för klassrummet?

Om jag liksom hela tiden använder en viss typ av satir som är satirisk mot en viss grupp eller en viss företeelse, det är klart det kan upplevas väldigt negativt, det är klart att du måste vara försiktig.

Hur skulle du påstå att man undviker det här då?

Ja, du måste förhålla dig objektivt, det är klart du kan använda satiren men ha det som en balans, om du nu är satirisk i en viss riktning så nästa lektion så kanske du måste lyfta in satiren fast åt andra hållet. Det måste finnas en objektivitet även i satiren, en balans.


Ja, religion och satir på det, samma sak, är det fel att behandla satir som kritiserar religion om någon av eleverna råkar vara religiös.

Nej, det tycker jag inte det, det kan inte finnas ett förbud eller lite som vi var inne på tidigare med trigger warnings och sånt, det kan inte finnas, däremot så personligen är jag inte så förtjust i texter och bilder, bilder då framförallt som ställer det hela på sin spetts, jag tycker hela det användandet inte är så konstruktivt, jag är personligen inte så förtjust ut av det, det bara provocerar, vi blir inte klokare av det, det är bara plumpt å provocerande, jag gillar inte det.

Varför tror du att andra lärare inte väljer att använda sig utav satir?

Nä men jag tror väll att en del lärare kanske då, asså tänker att de måste bygga på

vetenskaplighet och objektivitet, om man resonerar så, då kan det vara svårt å känna att man kan lyfta in satir, det är vad jag kan tänka mig.


Teacher B – Interview

Ska vi börja med att värma upp här lite granna, ålder?


å namn?

Teacher B

Och lärarkarriär, hur skulle vi beskriva den?

det här är mitt sjunde år, jag blev klar 2009, jobbade två år på ********skolan på

byggprogrammet och elektriker, tre år på *******skolan på samhällsprogrammet och det här är andra året på *******.

Mår vi bra idag då?


Härligt! Då kan vi börja, satir vad tycker vi om det?


Mhm, varför?

Det är viktigt att kunna skratta åt allvarliga saker, för det bäddar för diskussioner tror jag, viktigt att kunna diskutera allvarliga saker

Om du ska ge en definition på satir då?

Hmm, ja det var svårt... Att se händelser ur ett annat perspektiv, kanske humoristiskt perspektiv, kritiskt/humoristiskt kanske.

Okej! och hur ser du på satir som hjälpmedel för att nå kunskapskraven?

Jag tror att det är bra för att det är ett sätt att förbereda och väcka känslotankar och förbereda diskussioner.

Vilka typer av diskussioner kan komma fram då rå tror du?

Uhm, Diskussioner kring hur vi ser, nu är jag lärare i engelska och svenska bland annat, hur vi ser saker, hur vi betraktar saker ur olika perspektiv, om vi kanske kommer från Sverige eller från ett engelsktalande land, hur det kan finnas skillnad i kulturell perception.


över i sina privata liv, så kan det vara, man kan trampa på tår, om man inte gör det ordentligt å gör det med en öppenhet, att det är okej att man tycker på olika sätt och att man kommer från olika håll man behöver inte ha något konsensus och tycka likadant även om man bor i Sverige där det är en sån trång åsiktskorridor, men det är okej att tycka olika, men allt måste gå att diskuteras.

Vilken är din bästa upplevelse av Satir i klassrummet? Då du bah... Jah nu flyter det på bra!

Oj, nu kom jag inte på något exempel just nu, när vi har använt den här filmen Four Lions av Chris Morris som kom ut 2010 kanske, den har inbjudit till väldigt bra diskussioner.

Du upplever att satiren hjälper med diskussioner mer än att det har underhållningsvärdet?

Ja, å också när man ber att dom skriver individuella reflektioner, det kanske är att man tycker saker som man inte vill säga i grupp framför andra.

Mm, grupptryck.

Ja, precis, så att man kanske vill skriva nånting personligt själv, då har det också kommit fram väldigt bra saker, bland annat när man har jobbat med HBTQ ämnet till exempel, då är det inte alltid som man vill säga det man tänker på rakt ut i en grupp på 30 elever, men man kan vara väldigt öppen och skriva nånting i en reflektion som är privat.

Då ska vi gå till motsatsen här, vilken är din sämsta upplevelse av satir i klassrummet? Då du bah... ja, det här gick inget vidare...

Det var kanske någon gång då jag visade något som jag tyckte var satiriskt och eleverna tyckte det var jätte passé, så det nådde inte alls det syfte jag hade tänkt mig. Men dom tyckte det var för obvious tror jag och inte blev satiriskt som jag hade trott att det skulle bli.

Hur tycker du att man ska använda satir i klassrummet, vad är viktigt att tänka på?

Uhm, Att respektera elevers olika, vad dom kan komma från för miljö, vad dom kan ha för tankar och känslor och åsikter med sig så man inte dundrar på och säger att nu är en satir om det här ämnet och nu ska vi alla tycka såhär, utan att det är viktigt att man har respekt för elevers känslor och att dom kan tycka olika och att dom kan också bli upprörda, att man får diskutera det, att det är okej att säga som elev: det här tycker inte jag nå okej att diskutera om eller prata om det här. Så får man säga.

Vad tror vi om satir kopplat till kränkande behandling, kan satir vara kränkande för din elever? Satiren är juh menat att kränka en viss åsikt eller en viss grupp, att då elever kränks samtidigt.


någon känner sig kränkt när man använder sig av satir. Då får man kanske lyfta och säga att det är okej, jag förstår att det här är något som alla inte kommer att uppskatta eller det här kan man bli upprörd över att se och det är okej.

Vi går in på religion och satir, samma sak där! Är det fel att behandla satir som kritiserar religion om någon av eleverna råkar vara religiös?

Nä, det tror jag inte. Jag tror inte att man kan, uhm, det finns ett engelskt uttryck, "molycoddle" eleverna, jag tror inte man kan slå in elever i små kartonger med silkespapper och rosetter, utan jag tror att man måste förbereda dom att i livet så blir man ibland ifrågasatt, då får man lära sig att hantera det.

Jag kommer att strö iväg lite grann, vi har juh "trigger warnings" i USA, om man ska prata om känsliga ämnen, till exempel nazismen, så ska eleverna få "trigger warnings" innan...

Så dom kan lämna lokalen?

Ja, exakt!

Ja, det tror jag inte på, det tror jag inte gagnar dom, för att man går juh inte igenom livet utan att bli ifrågasatt eller få sin värderingar ifrågasatta. Ibland är det juh nyttigt för oss att bli ifrågasatta. Det finns en debatt i England dom sista två åren tror jag om safe spaces på universitet.

Det jag mena med "trigger warnings"!

Ja, att man ska slippa bli utsatt för åsikter som går tvärs emot ens egna när man är på universitet. Det känner nog jag att det är precis tvärtom mot hur det ska vara, man behöver utsättas för perspektiv som inte är ens egna. Och sen behöver man hantera att ta en diskussion kanske. Tror inte det är nyttigt för demokratin att man skyddar studenter och elever för sånt.

Vad tror du satiren har haft för roll för samhället i sånna fall? Historiskt perspektiv, vad har satir gjort för samhället?

Jag tror att satir har främjat demokrati i vissa fall, uhm, men sen så, jag vet juh inte, satir är oftast det som slås ner på i diktaturer där man inte får ifrågasätta en regim, då blir juh satiriker och andra auktoritets kritiker ganska hårt ansatta, så jag tror satir har en viktig uppgift för

demokratin. Sen kan man då alltid dra gränser och fråga vad är satir och vad är samhällsnytta och vart går man över gränsen.

Till vad som är rent kränkande, rent kränkande!


Ingen konstruktiv kritik helt enkelt.

Nä, eller behöver det vara konstruktivt, det är en diskussion man kan ha.

Nu ska vi ta och runda av här, varför tror du att andra lärare väljer att inte använda sig utav satir, om dom nu skulle göra det? Vad jag har upplevt så är det väldigt många som tar avstånd från det, men jag har inte riktigt uppfattat varför.

Jag tror att det är jobbigt, jag tror många lärare tycker det är jobbigt att hantera kanske hantera dom här diskussionerna. Jag tror det beror på vilka typer av elev grupper man har, jag jobbade på ett byggprogram en gång, där det var ganska många elever, vita pojkar från landet ungefär som ofta hade ganska så sexistiska och främlingsfientliga åsikter. Där kunde det vara svårt att föra en demokratidiskussion. Det är viktigt att man inte backar och att man gör det, man får juh inte samma gensvar av en klass som är mer heterogen, där elever kommer från olika håll och har olika saker med sig, många lärare kanske backar för att dom är rädda för att dom kanske inte har kontroll över situationen eller diskussionen som kan bli. Det juh vara svårt om man känner som lärare att man behöver ha kontroll.

Som vi sa tidigare, man vill inte trampa på andras tår!

Nä och man kanske inte vill, det kanske blir konflikter mellan grupper i klassen, man kanske kan ha sånna perspektiv. Jag tror att det är viktigt att ställa frågan till eleverna, det brukar jag alltid göra, inför eller efter ett sånt här område. Vad får man skämta om? Får man skämta om allting eller finns det ämnen man inte får skämta om? Det brukar dom säga att man får oftast om man samtidigt för en diskussion kring det.


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