Full text: Die Familie im Schulbuch

Susanne V. Knudsen 
Deconstructing the Nuclear Family 
in Norwegian Textbooks 
In this article the author presents how Norwegian textbooks in the 1990's and later make 
the nuclear family the norm of living together. The textbooks are for the Secondary 
School in the curricula Subjects natural Science and environmental Studies, Social Studies 
and home economics. The nuclear family in the chosen textbooks consists of the biologi- 
cal two-Sex model and the cultural and Social two-gender model. Some texts Show the 
eagerness to present more than the heterosexual family life, and opens up to homosexua- 
lity both as a Sexual and Social behaviour. Single living is given little Space in the text- 
In Norwegian textbooks for the Secondary School isSued in the 1990's and later the nuc- 
lear family is made visible in the Subjects natural Science and environmental Studies, 
Social Studies and home economics for 9* and 10* grades. Mostly the textbooks are in 
accordance with the National Curriculum of 1997. The curriculum Subject as well as the 
textbooks Stress gender equality as a question of valuing gender differences. However, 
the nuclear family Seems traditionally connected to the two-Sex model in the textbooks. 
The traditional presentations are connected to the opposing concepts boy/ girl or man/ 
woman and heterosexuality. How can the textbooks* dominating Stories of the nuclear 
family with the two-Sex model and the heteronormativity be deconstructed within the 
This article presents methodologies inspired by post-structuralism, gender and queer 
theories. It claims to use deconstruction to disturb and destabilize the traditional presen- 
tation of gender and Sexuality. Gender is viewed as a matter of doing gender. Rather than 
reading gender as a biological essence (Sex), gender is Seen as unstable and in process. 
Inspired by the history of the one-Sex and the tWo-SeX model the article draws on re- 
Search in how gender and Sexuality could intertwine and disturb each other. In Short the 


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