Socialisation theories have traditionally focused on how children are socialised in a rather unidirectional manner, according to a transmission model. However, more recent research and theories show that children are not just passive recipients, but active agents in their socialisation process. At the same time, children are subordinated to adult control. In school, they are regimented and involuntarily subjected to mass routines, discipline and control. The aim of this study was to explore and give a voice to pupils ’ critical thinking about school rules and their teachers ’ behaviour in relation to these rules. Ethnographic fieldwork and group interviews with students were conducted in two Swedish primary schools. The findings show that pupils criticise some school rules, distrust teachers ’ explanations of particular school rules, perceive some school rules and teachers ’ interventions as unfair and inconsistent, perceive no power over the construction of school rules, and express false acceptance and hidden criticism. The findings are discussed in terms of hidden curriculum, power, mentality resistance, democracy, participation and democratic citizenship education
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