'Smart students get perfect scores in tests without studying much':why is an effortless achiever identity attractive, and for whom is it possible?

Jackson, Carolyn and Nyström, Anne-Sofie (2015) 'Smart students get perfect scores in tests without studying much':why is an effortless achiever identity attractive, and for whom is it possible? Research Papers in Education, 30 (4). pp. 393-410. ISSN 0267-1522

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Abstract

Discourses about the value of effort and hard work are prevalent and powerful in many western societies and educational contexts. Yet, paradoxically, in these same contexts effortless achievement is often lauded, and in certain discourses is heralded as the pinnacle of success and a sign of genius. In this paper we interrogate discourses about effort and especially ‘effortlessness’ in Swedish and English educational contexts. Informed, in particular, by interview data generated in upper secondary schools in Sweden and secondary schools in England, we address the questions: why is effortless achievement attractive, and for whom is it possible to be discursively positioned as an effortless achiever? We argue that the subject position of ‘effortless achiever’ is not available to all categories of students equally, and for some it would be almost impossible to attain; the intersections of gender, social class, ethnicity and institutional setting are influential. We end by considering the problematic implications of effortless achievement discourses.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Research Papers in Education
Additional Information:
18 month embargo This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Research Papers in Education on 27/10/2014, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02671522.2014.970226
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3300/3304
Subjects:
ID Code:
70981
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
25 Sep 2014 09:05
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
25 Oct 2020 02:56