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ERIC Number: EJ1166633
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 27
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1918-5979
A Phenomenographic Study of Youth Conceptualizations of Evil: Order-Words and the Politics of Evil
van Kessel, Cathryn
Canadian Journal of Education, v40 n4 2017
Students in secondary social studies examine descriptions of historical events and rhetoric by politicians that utilize the word and concept of evil. The label of evil can evoke specific images, feelings, and thoughts; oversimplify historical and contemporary situations; and decrease students' sense of agency. This phenomenographical study included individual semi-structured interviews and focus groups. The outcome space revealed five referential aspects: evil as images, evil as affects (bodily) and effects (cognitive), evil as something that is abnormal and/or extraordinary, evil as human, and evil as subjective. One salient implication of this study is that teachers, textbook authors, and curriculum designers need to more explicitly engage with naming and describing evil in social studies education in the context of Deleuze and Guattari's (1980/2008) order-words.
Canadian Society for the Study of Education (CSSE). 260 Dalhousie Street Suite 204, Ottawa, ON K1N 7E4, Canada. Tel: 613-241-0018; Fax: 613-241-0019; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A