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Teaching National Identity and Alterity

Nineteenth Century American Primary School Geography Textbooks

Bahar Gürsel

“The concept of nation, in its original and technical use, has traditionally referred to people sharing common ancestry, born in a certain geographic area, and sharing certain cultural attributes.” 1 National identity has also been defined by

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Narrating the Second World War

History Textbooks and Nation Building in Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine

Lina Klymenko

Introduction Several studies have identified the role of school history textbooks in the state-led construction of national identity in the post-Soviet context. 1 Focusing on case studies from post-Soviet states, these works have demonstrated how

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Meglio di ieri

Educational Films, National Identity and Citizenship in Italy from 1948 to 1968

Anne Bruch

and aims of the new institutions and to explain the general decision-making process, but also to promote a fresh and convincing vision of national identity. Attracted by the suggestive power of audiovisual media, the government was keen to accord a key

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Reading Production and Culture

UK Teen Girl Comics from 1955 to 1960

Joan Ormrod

(1991) argues, they were represented as more realistic and normal whereas the glamor of American female stars in contemporaneous films was regarded as wasteful and unpatriotic; in this way, stardom was aligned to national values and identity. In Britain

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Textbook Revision and Beyond

New Challenges for Contemporary Textbook Activities

Basabi Khan Banerjee and Georg Stöber

Whereas “classical” textbook revision involved two or more nation-states, this article explores current challenges in this field which are internal or go beyond the level of nation-states: textbook activities after internal wars, the search for a “European textbook,” immigration, international schools, and examinations. All of these challenges touch upon the question of identities which are distinct from “traditional” national identities. The article sketches the respective backgrounds of these current challenges as well as practical aspects that need to be considered. We also question whether solutions can be found by replacing constricted identities with more comprehensive ones.

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Writing Syrian History While Propagating Arab Nationalism

Textbooks about Modern Arab History under Hafiz and Bashar al-Asad

Monika Bolliger

This article argues that Syrian history textbooks promote the formation of Syrian national identity, although their explicit objective is to propagate Arab nationalism. Their authors' attempt to construct the history of an imagined Arab nation encompassing the whole of the Arab world in fact tells the story of different nation-states. Syrian students are therefore confronted with rival geographical spheres of national imagination. Changes in the new textbooks under Bashar al-Asad reveal increased Syrian patriotism, a will to comply with globalization, and attempts to maintain Arab nationalism.

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Textbook Conflicts in South Asia

Politics of Memory and National Identity

Deepa Nair

The aftermath of World War II saw the emergence of many new nation-states on the Asian geopolitical map and a simultaneous attempt by these states to claim the agency of nationhood and to create an aura of a homogenous national identity. Textbooks have been the most potent tools used by nations to inject an idea of a national memory - in many instances with utter disregard for fundamental contradictions within the socio-political milieu. In South Asia, political sensitivity towards transmission of the past is reflected in the attempts of these states to revise or rewrite versions which are most consonant with the ideology of dominant players (political parties, religious organizations, ministries of education, publishing houses, NGOs, etc.) concerning the nature of the state and the identity of its citizens. This paper highlights the fundamental fault lines in the project of nation-building in states in South Asia by locating instances of the revision or rewriting of dominant interpretations of the past. By providing an overview of various revisionist exercises in South Asia, an attempt will be made to highlight important issues that are fundamental to the construction of identities in this diverse continent.

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Im Spannungsfeld von Regionalismus und nationaler Identität

zur Deutung und Vermittlung von Geschichte in katalanischen Schulbüchern

Martina Clemen

The Tension between Regionalism and National Identity When Interpreting and Mediating History in Catalan Textbooks

In den letzten Jahren ist in Spanien in den Medien eine heftig ausgetragene Kontroverse entbrannt über Deutung und Vermittlung von Geschichte an öffentlichen Schulen. Eine vergleichende Analyse von Geschichtslehrwerken (2008-2010) dreier Verlagshäuser verschiedener spanischer Regionen bestätigt die dem Beitrag vorangestellte These, dass die Darstellung und der Diskurs der spanischen Historie bewusst zum Aufbau einer nationalen katalanischen Identität eingesetzt werden. Die Divergenzen in der kulturellen bzw. geschichtlichen Perzeption werden durch einen nuancierten Sprachgebrauch, gezielte Selektion der Abbildungen und Quellen sowie strukturelle Anordnung der Schulbuchtexte sichtbar.

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Marcus Otto

This article analyzes how the fundamental challenge of decolonization has resonated in history textbooks published in France since the 1960s. It therefore contextualizes textbook knowledge within different areas of society and focuses on predominant discourses that influenced history textbooks' (post)colonial representations in the period examined. These discourses encompass the crisis of Western civilization, modernization, republican integration, and the postcolonial politics of memory. The author argues that history textbooks have thus become media, as well as objects of an emerging postcolonial politics of memory that involves intense conflicts over immigration and national identity and challenges France's (post)colonial legacy in general.

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Keith Crawford

This article offers a critical exploration of social studies textbooks and allied curriculum materials used in New South Wales primary schools between 1930 and 1960, and of the way in which these texts positioned, discussed, and assessed Aboriginal Australians. With reference to European commitments to Enlightenment philosophies and social Darwinian views of race and culture, the author argues that Aboriginal peoples were essentialized via a discourse of paternalism and cultural and biological inferiority. Thus othered in narratives of Australian identity and national progress, Aboriginal Australians were ascribed a role as marginalized spectators or as a primitive and disappearing anachronism.