Fra Konkurrence til Konkurs? From Competitiveness to Mental Brankruptcy?

Julie Fønskov Thorsen, Sofie Borella Tausen & Sofie Maag Hansen

Student thesis: Termpaper


A much-discussed topic in the media is that an increasing number of children and adolescents has become perfectionists and set too high expectations for themselves. In addition to striving for good grades in school it is also important for them to perform in all other arenas. This paper explores the different meanings that mothers and young adolescent girls give to the terms self-representation, self- realization and criticism. The analysis of the study focuses on the elementary school, Virum Skole, as an extreme case for representation of a resourceful and homogenous milieu. Virum Skole is chosen based upon factors as the school’s location in an especially affluent area, the school’s emphasis on a high academic level and the fact that the school has a very homogenous group of families. The analysis focuses on interviews done with two mothers with children in Virum Skole and three 7th grade girls from the school. Through Laclau and Mouffe’s discourse theory and Rasmus Willig’s thesis about a tendency to self-criticism rather than criticism of society, the empirical data is examined. Through analysis of the mothers’ and girls’ ascribing of meaning to the terms self- representation, self-realization and criticism it can be concluded that these are affected by competitiveness. This can, among other things, be seen through the girls’ use of the social media, Instagram, for self-representation, that the homogenous milieu means an increased focus on very small variations to the norm, and that both mothers and girls ascribe a meaning of high school and university to the notion of “future”. Furthermore, it is established, through analysis and discussion, that the girls interviewed serve as representatives for the pupil group “straight-A-girls” rather than representatives for teenage girls of a homogenous, resourceful milieu.

EducationsBasic - Bachelor Study Program in Humanistisk-Technology, (Bachelor Programme) Basic
Publication date16 Jun 2015


  • Diskurs
  • Selvfremstilling
  • Kritik
  • Rasmus Willig
  • Konkurrence
  • Selvrealisering
  • Mouffe
  • Lacau