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Perception of national identities through history school textbooks : Comparative case study of Greece and Turkey

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Abstract:

The nationalistic discourse offers one of its most pure forms in the school textbooks. Besides teaching several subjects, school is an instrument for creating unity among the new generation and for assuring standardization from the specific ideological point of a given government. According to the curriculum usually set by the State, subjects like history, literature; geography has more power on constructing the student’s basic attitudes on political issues. Many times, through simplified narration, students receive their most unquestioned information, almost an absolute “truth” which will form its future prejudices. History lessons, where we observe these implications with great clarity, are an interesting field of political examination. During the twentieth century, which is accepted to be the era of nationalisms more than any other, the history textbooks in Europe contained many detailed definitions about the national foes and allies, stereotypes with in a nation or among other people narrated by a primitive statement of the State ideology carefully integrated to a historical construction of the past and the present which makes references to a commonly desired future. In this paper we would like to emphasize the construction of the national identity of a person and the perception of the “Other” through history school textbooks by comparing the examples from the Turkish and Greek school books. Through analyzing these texts, while combining the knowledge of Political Psychology and International Relations, we believe to enlighten the roots of the cultural memory and also have a deeper look to an international conflict.

Author's Keywords:

Discourse analysis, history school textbooks, national identity, Turkish and Greek Relations
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Name: ISPP 31st Annual Scientific Meeting
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MLA Citation:

Dorduncu Aydemir, Elif. "Perception of national identities through history school textbooks : Comparative case study of Greece and Turkey" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ISPP 31st Annual Scientific Meeting, Sciences Po, Paris, France, Jul 09, 2008 <Not Available>. 2013-12-14 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p254821_index.html>

APA Citation:

Dorduncu Aydemir, E. , 2008-07-09 "Perception of national identities through history school textbooks : Comparative case study of Greece and Turkey" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ISPP 31st Annual Scientific Meeting, Sciences Po, Paris, France <Not Available>. 2013-12-14 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p254821_index.html

Publication Type: Paper (prepared oral presentation)
Abstract: The nationalistic discourse offers one of its most pure forms in the school textbooks. Besides teaching several subjects, school is an instrument for creating unity among the new generation and for assuring standardization from the specific ideological point of a given government. According to the curriculum usually set by the State, subjects like history, literature; geography has more power on constructing the student’s basic attitudes on political issues. Many times, through simplified narration, students receive their most unquestioned information, almost an absolute “truth” which will form its future prejudices. History lessons, where we observe these implications with great clarity, are an interesting field of political examination. During the twentieth century, which is accepted to be the era of nationalisms more than any other, the history textbooks in Europe contained many detailed definitions about the national foes and allies, stereotypes with in a nation or among other people narrated by a primitive statement of the State ideology carefully integrated to a historical construction of the past and the present which makes references to a commonly desired future. In this paper we would like to emphasize the construction of the national identity of a person and the perception of the “Other” through history school textbooks by comparing the examples from the Turkish and Greek school books. Through analyzing these texts, while combining the knowledge of Political Psychology and International Relations, we believe to enlighten the roots of the cultural memory and also have a deeper look to an international conflict.

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