Writing in Ireland: an ethnographic study of schooling and the world of writers

Project leader

Funding source

Swedish Research Council - Vetenskapsrådet (VR)

Project Details

Start date: 01/01/2007
End date: 31/12/2009
Funding: 1830000 SEK


This is an ethnographic study of the practice of writing in Ireland: in schools, at university, and in the world of writers where the literary tradition is continued by contemporary writers. Why are the Irish a people of the pen? How is socialization to writing accomplished? Importantly, with anthropology´s comparative perspective, these questions accentuate the fact that despite efforts to provide students in Sweden with special training in writing, there is still a perceived lack of writing ability among Swedish students which is one explanation of students dropping out of university. In line with the anthropological practice of contributing to theoretical debate through analysis of an ethnographic case, Ireland and its educational system is the site for the project. The aim is to explore 1) how school pupils in primary and secondary school, and students in creative writing classes at university, learn to write, 2) the social organization of the world of contemporary writers of short stories and novels. Many of these writers teach creative writing to pupils, as well as to teachers, and students. Theoretically, the project connects Bourdieu´s ideas on fields and habitus, with anthropology of education and situated learning, as well as Becker´s notion of art worlds. Fieldwork for six months in Dublin with participant observation in writing classes in schools and at university, writers´ conferences, readings, festivals. Interviews and surveys. Write a book.

Last updated on 2017-31-03 at 12:55