Social Studies in Denmark - developed within and as a challenge to History This article presents a case study of the development of Social Studies* (samfunds¬fag) as a new discipline in the Danish upper secondary school in the 1960s. The background of this new construction was partly conflicting fractions within the school subject History promoting different notions of democratic Bildung and partly differing understandings of the significance of the Social Sciences. More ge¬nerally, this study contributes to the understanding of the dynamics of developing processes within and between disciplines, viewed as processes of didactisation. All school subjects refer to more or less complex bases, reflected in their construct and development. What is interesting concerning the relation between History and Social Studies (samfundsfag) is their partial sharing of a common basis, which can broadly be defined as the study of society and state nationally and globally, but also that this basis is reflected differently in the two subjects, either for politi¬cal-ideological reasons or for methodological-scientific reasons - or both. Because of a substantial common basis, they are considered to be “near context subjects”, as opposed to disciplines sharing only insignificant bases. Didactisation processes are assumed to be of far greater importance between “near context subjects” than between “far context subjects”. Further, the article discusses Bildung aims of Social Studies (samfundsfag), aiming at identifying Bildung ideas connected to this ‘new’ discipline. It is con¬cluded that Bildung in Social Studies (samfundsfag) consists of a social science element, a current interest element, and the ability to combine the two in a de¬mocratic manner in independent actions in society and state. This is seen as a late modern idea of democratic Bildung as opposed to the traditional idea of national and democratic Bildung in the school subject History. Stressing participation and scientific methodology, this idea of Bildung is political-ideological. Thus, Bildung connected to Social Studies (samfundsfag) covers the ability to combine knowledge from everyday life and social sciences as the foundation for partici¬pation and critique and maybe even innovation in society and state. This, in turn, provokes didactisation in the “near context subject” of History. These processes are, however, not considered in this article. * The official translation of ‘samfundsfag’ is ‘Social Science’. In order to distinguish between the academic field of study and the upper secondary subject, the term Social Studies is used for the latter.
Kubanskii Gosudarstvennyi Universitet. Izvestiya. Estestvennye Nauki, 2012, p. 95-112
samfundsfag, Social Studies, History, didaktisering, didactisation, sen¬moderne dannelse, late modern Bildung.; sammenlignende fagdidaktik